Promoter Eddie Hearn took a small break from promoting the first ever Matchroom Boxing card in the United States between former Middleweight world champion Daniel Jacobs and Luis Arias to discuss the current landscape of the Heavyweight division, which of course includes the multiple possibilities on the horizon for his fighter–the IBF, IBO and WBA Heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua.
Joshua (20-0, 20 KOs) is coming off a one sided 10th-round stoppage victory over Carlos Takam two weeks ago in the UK. Then last Saturday night WBC titleholder Deontay Wilder made headlines all over the sport with his first-round annihilation of former world champion Bermane Stiverne in Brooklyn.
Following the knockout victory fans and media alike began clamoring for a showdown between the two best Heavyweights in the sport, both of whom are young and unbeaten and have 58 knockouts between them.
“If the right deal can be made then it can be Anthony Joshua’s next fight, but most likely it will take more time. I certainly see it happening in 2018 in either England or U.S.,” said Hearn this morning at the Playstation Theater in Times Square.
“I had a productive meeting with Shelly [Finkel] today and him and Al [Haymon] want to make sure for a fight of this magnitude that both fighters are compensated appropriately,” added Hearn. “Both fighters should be set for life after a fight this big and with the risk this fight has. Anthony is already financially set for life.”
Hearn said Joshua is in Dubai for a two week vacation and will likely begin camp for a February/March return to the ring. According to Hearn he has had to overpay most of Joshua’s opponents and knows that he will have to continue doing so to continue Joshua’s meteoric rise.
“Takam just made around what Wilder made for his title defense so that just puts it all in perspective. I know we will have to overpay Wilder and that’s fine.”
Another option for Joshua is Joseph Parker from Australia who holds the WBO title and both sides have begun preliminary discussions for the bout.
“Look, there is reality and then there is fantasy,” said Hearn. “Parker’s camp is in fantasy land right now and somewhere in the middle is where we need to land. They need to understand how much their fighter is worth. At the end of the day the fight is only worth what the fight is worth, and if he didn’t have that title I would not have even dialed their number.”
Another compelling option for Joshua is to bring his talents to the United States where viewership for his win over Takam peaked at just 334,000 for the live broadcast on Showtime–down from the 659,000 viewers who watched Joshua stop Wladimir Klitschko in April.
“We are interested in seeing what Big Baby Miller does with Wach on Saturday,” said Hearn. “If Miller wins he will be in line for a title eliminator, but if he stops Wach and does something as big as what Wilder did then that can speed things up. Today Miller is a very good Heavyweight but depending on how he looks on Saturday he can be an elite Heavyweight.”
Hearn is very familiar with Miller’s opponent on Saturday because Wach was a sparring partner for Joshua in preparation for the Klitschko bout.
“This is Miller’s toughest test,” said Hearn. “Anthony and Wach sparred over 100 rounds. He’s a world class Heavyweight. Can you imagine the possibility of Anthony Joshua vs. Big Baby Miller in Barclays Center in Brooklyn? How massive would that fight be?”
Header photo by Esther Lin/Showtime