Deontay Wilder won’t pick up the phone to discuss Anthony Joshua fight, says Eddie Hearn


Eddie Hearn has appeared to rule out the prospect of Anthony Joshua fighting Deontay Wilder in April, as the American “won’t even answer the phone”.

Joshua, who holds the WBA ‘super’, IBF and WBO belts, is searching for his next opponent after stopping Alexander Povetkin in September.

His promoter Hearn says Wilder, who holds the WBC belt, is Joshua’s No 1 target, but claims the ‘Bronze Bomber’ will not even discuss a deal.

He told Sky Sports News: “We can’t get any response at all from their team. In the last four or five weeks, I’ve sent five or six emails to Shelly Finkel (Wilder’s promoter). They won’t even have the decency to come back.

“I think they’ve made their mind up – they don’t want to fight Anthony Joshua. It’s frustrating because I think we’re in a place where it’s a really great deal.

“Wilder has always said ‘one face, one name, one champion’, but the deal we’ve offered is more than a fair split for Wilder. And it’s two fights – one in the UK and one in the US.

“But he’s not even entertaining that fight. Wilder won’t even answer the phone, so that’s well out the window.”

If, as appears likely, Wilder does not agree to fight Joshua in April, Hearn says Dillian Whyte, Tyson Fury and Jarrell Miller are all possible opponents for the Brit.

However, he admits negotiations with Whyte are also providing troublesome, saying: “We’ve had a great run with Dillian Whyte.

“He wants a shot at the world heavyweight title. We’ve delivered that – he doesn’t feel like the package is right at the moment. I think it is a good offer.

“It was never going to be easy. But you get to a point where you say ‘Dillian, this is your chance to fight for four heavyweight belts at Wembley for millions’. What more can we do?

“These kind of opportunities don’t come around that often. You’re going to own the keys to the kingdom if you can beat Anthony Joshua.”

Hearn also revealed he has made an offer to Fury, the former four-belt world champion who most recently drew with Wilder in a split decision in December.

He said: “I’ve spoken to Tyson and he asked me to make him an offer, which we did. There was talk about ‘did I offer him 60-40’ – yes, I did.

“He was world heavyweight champion – he’s not anymore. AJ is a bigger global star, but Fury deserves so much respect. 60-40 as a voluntary defence – this is a great deal.”

With negotiations with Wilder, Whyte and Fury providing frustrating, Hearn says Miller could fill the void and become the next man to try to beat Joshua.

“The one guy that looks like he’s up for a fight is Jarrell Miller,” said Hearn. “He wants a lot of money, but he’s more realistic than the other guys.

“I do feel there is a value to Joshua making his US debut. While our order goes Wilder, Fury, Whyte and Miller, any of those are capable of getting the fight.”

(c) Sky News 2019: Deontay Wilder won’t pick up the phone to discuss Anthony Joshua fight, says Eddie Hearn

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