Joshua Vs. Wilder Won’t Happen – Says Eddie Hearn
The boxers had signed a two-fight deal, with the first bout on March 9, 2024. This was on the condition that they came through their next fights. Joshua would impressively stop Otto Wallin after the fifth round. But Wilder came up short as he lost a unanimous decision.
Joshua’s camp turned their focus towards Filip Hrgovic in what is likely to be a fight for the vacant IBF title. The winner of Tyson Fury vs Oleksandr Usyk must defend their belt against Hrgovic, but since they have a rematch clause, the winner will likely get stripped. Given how Wilder lost, with one judge only giving him a single round, Hearn saw no reason why the fight should go ahead.
Hearn On Joshua-Wilder
“He [Joshua] did his thing outstandingly [against Wallin], and the fight is dead for now. Who knows what’s going to happen in the future. I don’t rule it [Joshua-Wilder] out. It’s just that the people who wanted to put the fight on [the Saudis] no longer see that as the fight that it was. So, the negotiations that have taken place up to that point to agree to a deal. The numbers don’t work now because Wilder is a busted flush a the moment,” Hearn said
Nevertheless, reporter Chris Mannix did not rule out a fight provided Wilder rebuilt himself. This included avenging the loss to Parker. That is a considerable risk since another loss will likely damage Wilder’s career. At the age of 38, he cannot afford too many losses. He has lost three of his last four fights.
The two defeats to Fury and Parker have raised questions about whether he should retire. The mass inactivity that has emerged with his loss has also played a negative part. Before the Parker fight, Wilder had only won a round in over a year when he stopped Robert Helenius.
That time out of the ring was telling as he failed to use the right hand and jab against Parker, and it deserted him. But provided that Wilder makes some positive adjustments, he felt the fight could still go ahead.
Wilder’s Next Steps
“I’m of the opinion that the only way you can make Joshua-Wilder viable again is or at least to be viable at the level that he needs to be viable at is to have Wilder run it back with Parker. I don’t know that it ends any differently, but I think you try to run that back in March or April.
“You do it again in Saudi Arabia, and if Wilder can score a knockout, you can try and treat it the same way that AJ treated the [Andy] Ruiz fight, where he bounced back with a win and got back in the big into fights [and lost twice in a row against Oleksandr Usyk after taking a confidence-booster against 39-year-old Kubrat Pulev] immediately after,” Mannix stated
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