Hearn: Joshua-Wilder Happens In The U.S.
Eddie Hearn, promoter for IBF, IBO, WBA heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, has no problem with having his boxer making his first United States appearance against WBC champion Deontay Wilder in a unification showdown.
Joshua will first have to defeat WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker on March 31 at Principality in Cardiff, Wales in their unification bout, and Wilder will need to stop Luiz Ortiz on March 3rd in Brooklyn.
Hearn wants Joshua to make at least three defenses, starting with Parker, then with a mandatory defense in the summer, and end the year with Wilder.
Hearn feels confident enough in Joshua’s drawing power to stage the Wilder fight in the United States, where Matchroom has opened offices.
“This could be the last time [Joshua] fights in the UK in 2018,” Hearn told Sky Sports.
“The Wilder fight could be in America. We want to fight Wilder before the end of the year. Our plan is box three times this year – end of August or early September, then December. We’ve got a base in America already. We’d rather the fight was in the UK but we’re not bothered if it has to be in America. No problem.”
Hearn expects the negotiations to be much tougher than when he negotiated the deal for the March 31st clash in Cardiff.
Wilder has been making it known to anyone and everyone that felt that a Joshua fight should be an even 50-50 revenue split between the two.
Joshua, who is getting somewhere between 65-70% of the revenue in the Parker fight, is never going to agree to a 50-50 split with Wilder.
“[It makes it] more difficult, because if you go to the negotiating table with three belts instead of one, then you want an increase in the pie,” Hearn said.
“Wilder is in a real fight against Ortiz, and victory would give him more value than he has at the moment. We have to give respect to Wilder because he’s having a proper fight. I believe he will beat Ortiz. It depends how he wins. If he comes through a war, those fights can take a lot out of you. If he wins impressively, he sends out a good statement. Everyone is going in the right direction.”