Eddie Hearn has told Boxing News that an agreement is almost in place to see former world champions Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder face-off.
Hearn also confirmed the fight is being targeted for either December or January in Saudi Arabia.
“In our meetings with Saudi on Thursday, we virtually have a deal agreed in principle subject to final discussions on stuff”, said Hearn.
“We’ll see them again on Monday, I think we’re in a good place.”
Joshua is set to return for his second fight of the year on August 12th following a unanimous decision win against Jermaine Franklin in April.
The fight was his first since consecutive defeats to Oleksandr Usyk who claimed Joshua’s old unified heavyweight titles in the process.
Old rival Dillian Whyte remains the frontrunner for the date as he looks to tie down a rematch with Joshua following his seventh-round defeat to the 33 year old in 2015.
Sky Sports reported earlier today that Whyte had signed his side of the deal, although Hearn told Boxing News on Saturday that he was unsure whether Whyte would in fact be the opponent in six weeks time.
Wilder meanwhile made his ring return in October after back-to-back defeats to WBC king Tyson Fury and annihilated Robert Helenius with a sensational first-round knockout.
The Alabama man is also looking to get a fight in before a potential showdown with ‘AJ’ and has fired multiple shots in the direction of former champion and PBC stablemate Andy Ruiz Jnr in recent weeks.
Wilder however told 78SPORTSTV that the Joshua fight may indeed be his next bout if a deal can’t be reached Ruiz Jnr soon.
Both Joshua and Wilder’s teams were locked in intense negotiations four years ago with both men holding all four heavyweight titles between them at the time.Embed from Getty Images
Above: Wilder knocked out Helenius inside 90 seconds on his ring return last October. Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images.
The fight however failed to develop as the sport continued to be starved an undisputed heavyweight champion – a search which continues into 2023 with a potential Fury-Usyk showdown collapsing in March.
Usyk now faces WBA mandatory challenger Daniel Dubois in Poland on August 26th, while Fury is remarkably rumoured to be fighting former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou in an exhibition.
Hearn told Boxing News that he has heard the fight is set for January and that while the date of a potential Joshua-Wilder fight isn’t reliant on Fury’s next bout, it could land on the same card early next year.
Featured image: Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing.