Hearn: Joshua Likely To Face Wilder Over Hrgovic After December 23rd

November 30, 2023
3 months
Hearn: Joshua Likely To Face Wilder Over Hrgovic After December 23rd

Anthony Joshua is more likely to fight Deontay Wilder than Filip Hrgovic.

That is according to Eddie Hearn. Both boxers have long been linked with a fight since 2018, when they could have fought for the undisputed heavyweight championship. Wilder’s team had sent a $50 million offer to Joshua. However, the fight never got made as Hearn confirmed that the conditions attached were not acceptable.

Joshua was required to accept the offer before a contract was sent. That never happened, as both boxers went their own way. Joshua, however, would lose his titles to Oleksandr Usyk, while Wilder would do so against Tyson Fury. However, a fight could now be on the cards.

Joshua and Wilder have their fights on December 23rd, 2023, on the same card in Saudi Arabia. AJ faces Otto Wallin, and Wilder takes on Joseph Parker. And if both boxers win, there is every chance that they could fight each other next.

At the same time, a fight against Hrgovic has been mentioned. The boxer is the current IBF heavyweight interim champion, which puts him in line to face the winner of Fury vs. Usyk. And since Hrgovic is also with Matchroom Boxing, that would make it easier to make the fight since a win would allow Joshua a title shot. But as of now, the focus was on Wilder.

Hearn Reacts

“It’s very likely that after Fury-Usyk 1, the belts will fragment. Particularly the IBF. If that fragments and Joshua beats Wallin on Dec. 23rd, it would be Hrgovic against Joshua. But by then it’s very likely that Joshua-Wilder could be contracted and probably will be contracted. We won’t be able to U-turn at that point.

“We’re full steam ahead trying to make the Wilder fight. WBC final eliminator? If that’s what it’s called. I would just call it the biggest fight in boxing at that point. When that fight happens and the only way that fight happens is if they both win on December 23rd on the same card. And if they do win on the same card, on the same night, that fight is the biggest fight in boxing,” Hearn said 

WBC President Reacts

A fight with Wilder could also become a WBC title eliminator. The WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman confirmed as much as he talked up the possibility. Wilder had been on course to face Andy Ruiz Jr. in a WBC title eliminator. However, both sides could not agree on a purse split as the order was scrapped. Wilder’s team had offered the Mexican a 70-30 split. But the latter countered by demanding a 50-50 split. That resulted in a breakdown in talks, but for Sulaiman, a Wilder-AJ eliminator could occur.

“In itself it is a natural WBC elimination tournament. You have Wilder, No 1, Joshua, you have Parker, you have Otto Wallin, all those are highly ranked in the WBC. After December 23 we’re going to see a different picture in the rankings. It looks like Wilder and Joshua are on a collision course. That could very well be a final elimination to determine a mandatory contender for the WBC title,” Sulaiman stated

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