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Anthony Joshua putting everything at stake in Deontay Wilder fight, says Eddie Hearn

4:35 pm, 19th June 2018

The Matchroom Boxing boss has sent a contract to Wilder’s team with terms for a huge unification fight against Joshua, but plans to stage the bout at Wembley in September appear unlikely with a deal yet to be agreed.

An initial date of September 15 has now been taken by the Saul Alvarez-Gennady Golovkin rematch and Hearn has warned that AJ will not disrupt his training regime for a fight of such magnitude.

“I’m not letting Anthony Joshua fight this fight with an eight-week camp, because this is everything, this fight,” Hearn told Sky Sports.

“Everything that he’s built towards, his whole professional career, maybe his whole boxing career is built towards this moment.

“We’re not just going to go ‘oh yeah, let’s just dive in and do it on a date that doesn’t give us the best prep time.

“I think more realistically, October, November is a solution, but that does rule out the place where we wanted to stage it, which is Wembley, so lots to try and resolve, but we want the fight, we’re prepared to sign for the fight now.

“They’ll see the contract, they won’t see anything out of the ordinary, then we’ll go from there.”

Hearn held discussions with Joshua and his trainer Rob McCracken last week, admitting that they are eager for confirmation of the Wilder fight, or a WBA mandatory title defence against Alexander Povetkin.

“They want to get moving,” said Hearn. “They boxed the 31st of March, so he’s had a nice break. He’s sort of just started ticking over now, but they would like to know. They would like a decision.

“They feel like Povetkin is a very, very tough fight. They feel like Wilder is a very, very tough fight, but AJ is up for fighting them both.

“Of course he wants the Wilder fight. He wants to be the undisputed champion, but if it’s going to be slow-tracked, if people are going to mess around, if it’s going to drag on, they would rather jump in and say okay, let’s go end of September with Povetkin, and then keep the discussions going with Wilder, but sign now.

“Like I said, if Wilder says we’re good to go, that’s almost certainly going to be the next fight.”

The Principality Stadium in Cardiff, which has staged Joshua’s last two world title fights, is the only alternative venue, but negotiations will need to accelerate dramatically for the blockbuster bout to go ahead in 2018.

“I don’t want to affect the discussions, but we have to move at an extraordinary pace, and possibly do it somewhere that isn’t ideal, or where AJ wanted to, for it to be next,” said Hearn.

“But I believe this fight will 100 per cent be signed in the next three or four weeks.”

You can hear more of an exclusive interview with Eddie Hearn in this week’s Ringside Toe 2 Toe podcast.