Published: Fri, March 15, 2019
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Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder closer to unification fight, says Eddie Hearn

Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder closer to unification fight, says Eddie Hearn

Wilder, along with managers Shelly Finkel and Al Haymon and promoter Lou DiBella, met with DAZN executive chairman John Skipper and members of his staff in NY on Tuesday about a possible deal that would bring Wilder to the sports streaming service and include a potential fall fight for the undisputed heavyweight championship against three-belt titleholder Anthony Joshua, who is also fighting on DAZN.

Deontay Wilder's days with Showtime/FOX may be numbered, as the WBC world heavyweight champion will speak with DAZN. And although Hearn has been instrumental in launching DAZN in America he has been excluded from the talks involving Wilder and his co-manager Shelly Finkel.

Eddie Hearn is optimistic a deal can be agreed for Anthony Joshua to fight Deontay Wilder, stating "the pieces are coming together". 'Now I think there's a strategy in place that could lead us to the undisputed fight.

Skipper, talking at the press conference to announce Gennady Golovkin's new deal with DAZN, said of the Wilder links: "I will not characterise them all, or even confirm them. That's all the comment I have on that".

'Clearly, the relationship between Team Wilder and Team Joshua is not the best.

Wilder has historically fought on Haymon's PBC but announced last month he is now a "free agent" in media terms.

After drawing with Tyson Fury in December, it initially looked inevitable that Wilder would put his WBC title back on the line and challenge the "Gypsy King" in a rematch.

Image PA
Image PA

"There's a clear desire from both sides to make the fight".

Wilder vs Fury 2 won't come to fruition anytime soon, though, as the latter has signed a broadcast deal with ESPN.

There are, of course, many details to iron out, including the prospect of a two-fight deal where each fighter has the right to an immediate rematch and the location of the fight. He will fight an alternative opponent in May or June.

Mike Coppinger of Fox Sports has been all over the business beat when it comes to streaming sports service DAZN and the biggest names in boxing.

But it seems with the 33-year-old that contract talks at agreeing fights aren't his speciality as another setback in that deal scuppered a second meeting with Fury.

"There's an opportunity for someone to be, of you like, a mediator to try and get it done", said Hearn. The service is now available in nine countries - Austria, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland and the U.S. - and plans to reach 20 markets by 2020.

DiBella recently arranged for Wilder and Skipper to speak over the phone about a week ago as a way for them to meet each other and get the ball rolling, according to a source with knowledge of the situation. "We're confident he will bring his passionate fans to the platform as we produce tentpole events with his team over the next several years".


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