Eddie Hearn says he is optimistic about the chances of Anthony Joshua facing Deontay Wilder in a highly anticipated heavyweight unification fight later this year.
The two fighters have been unable to agree to terms for some time, with the Bronze Bomber instead opting to fight Tyson Fury in a thrilling split-draw – though a rematch will not happen with Wilder having a WBC-mandated title defence against Dominic Breazeale instead.
Joshua, meanwhile, fights Jarrell Miller at Madison Square Garden in June, though promoter Hearn is increasingly hopeful that the two will come face-to-face in November or December of 2019.
Speaking to Sky Sports, he said: ‘It’s very encouraging. I’m not going to say too much on it, because I don’t want to jinx anything. ‘But I think there’s an opportunity there for someone to be a mediator to get the fight done.
‘Clearly, the relationship between Team Wilder and Team Joshua is not the best. I think this is a route that is going to be very beneficial to the making of that undisputed fight. It’s not just about doing a deal with Wilder, it’s about doing a deal with Joshua.
‘They’ve got their work cut out, but the pieces are coming together. There’s a long way to go but we’ll see where it goes. ‘Now I think there’s a strategy in place that could lead us to the undisputed fight. There’s a clear desire from both sides to make the fight.’ He added: ‘If an undisputed fight gets made, it will be November or December 2019. But still a couple of hurdles.’
Wilder, along with managers Shelly Finkel and Al Haymon, met with DAZN chiefs in New York on Tuesday to discuss a potential fight with Joshua on the streaming service. Finkel told ESPN: ‘We did [meet] but nothing was resolved and internally we are going to continue to talk about it and then we will get back to them, but it went well.’