HomeSportEddie Hearn provides worrying Anthony Joshua vs Deontay Wilder update and names...

Eddie Hearn provides worrying Anthony Joshua vs Deontay Wilder update and names two alternative opponents


Eddie Hearn has cast doubt on Anthony Joshua vs Deontay Wilder and suggested his star client could fight Andy Ruiz or Filip Hrgovic instead.

The boxing promoter has been working to make an eagerly anticipated clash between Joshua and Wilder and it was expected to take place in Saudi Arabia soon.

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Joshua linked up with Hearn before his boxing debut and they’ve worked together ever sinceCredit: Getty

As of late, there’s been a shift in power when it comes to making big boxing bouts in the Middle Eastern country and it’s left Joshua vs Wilder in limbo.

Skills Challenge Entertainment, whom Hearn has been negotiating with, has been replaced by a new entity that booked Tyson Fury’s fight with former UFC champion Francis Ngannou.

“We’ve agreed terms for Joshua-Wilder, but until we receive a contract the fight is not happening,” Hearn told Boxing King Media.

“Politically, it sounds like there’s a lot going on. For us, we are ready to take that fight. Shelly Finkel [Wilder’s manager] and I have spoken, they are ready to take that fight.”

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“It doesn’t just have to happen in Saudi Arabia. There are now other talks about other countries that it could take place in.

“There is a movement of management and ownership of boxing in Saudi and it’s up to them what they want to do. If they don’t do Joshua-Wilder maybe it goes somewhere else.

“It’s one of the biggest fights in heavyweight boxing, we are being told they do [want to do it]. I really wouldn’t be surprised if Joshua ended up fighting Fury.”

Hearn insists Joshua won’t wait around for a mega-money clash with Wilder to come to fruition, and claims talks with other fighters will start if a deal isn’t struck soon.

Hrgovic is Usyk's IBF mandatory challenger

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Hrgovic is Usyk’s IBF mandatory challengerCredit: Mark Robinson/Matchroom
Joshua's first defeat came to Andy Ruiz Jr in 2019, but AJ won the rematch six months later

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Joshua’s first defeat came to Andy Ruiz Jr in 2019, but AJ won the rematch six months laterCredit: Getty

“Filip Hrgovic [or] Andy Ruiz,” he said when asked to name alternative opponents for Joshua.

“I don’t know. It would need to be a step up, but it would probably take place outside of the UK [because] he’s just boxed two fights at the O2 [Arena] in four months.

“There’s no guarantee he’ll fight in December and we still wanna make the Wilder fight.

“I’ve already reached out to Saudi Arabia to say, ‘Whoever is moving boxing forward, we have agreed this and we’re ready. If you want to do that, fine. If not, no problem.’”





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