Eddie Hearn jets into Saudi Arabia ‘for talks over super-fight in the country’ for Anthony Joshua
Eddie Hearn jets into Saudi Arabia ‘for talks over super-fight in the country’ for Anthony Joshua as hopes of heavyweight ‘tournament’ continue to ramp up
- Matchroom promoter shared image on social media showing himself to be there
- Speculation has been abound for some weeks regarding tournament-type event
- Hopes are heavyweights will descend on Middle East for December showdowns
Eddie Hearn shared a photo showing himself to be in Saudi Arabia on Thursday – with reports suggesting that he is in advanced talks for a December fight in the country for Anthony Joshua.
Joshua, making his long-anticipated return to the ring after back-to-back losses to Oleksandr Usyk in September 2021 and August last year, beat Jermaine Franklin via points decision earlier this month and is currently plotting his next move amid accusations of an unconvincing showing at London’s O2 Arena.
Much speculation has surrounded the former two-time world heavyweight champion regarding his next opponent, not least suggestions Joshua, alongside Tyson Fury, Deontay Wilder and Usyk could form part of a tournament-style event in the Middle East this winter.
It would see Fury meet Uysk, following the breakdown in talks between the two parties for their planned April bout, and Joshua clash with Wilder following a potential summer bout with Dillian Whyte.
Various reports claim Hearn is in Saudi Arabia at present for advanced talks on the ‘super-fight’ between Joshua and Wilder.
Eddie Hearn has jetted into the Middle East to hold talks over a December bout for Anthony Joshua
The promoter posted this photo on social media – showing himself to be in Saudi Arabia
Joshua is plotting his path at present having made a successful return to the ring this month
It is said that the enormously lucrative bout has taken a step closer to being realised with Hearn’s arrival in Riyadh.
Wilder himself has given the bout the green light, with the ‘Bronze Bomber’ looking to regain some notoriety following two damaging defeats to Fury in February 2020 and October 2021.
Hearn himself has been open about the prospects surrounding the heavyweight tournament, admitting that various things need to fall into place for it to happen – including, crucially, all fighters agreeing.
‘It’s realistic because Saudi Arabia means business and we’ve done deals there before, easily and frequently,’ he told the Lightweight Boxing Show.
‘There’s no negotiations [already] but I fly there next week to start those negotiations. Subject to the deal, which has never been a problem with them [Saudi Arabia], AJ will fight Deontay Wilder or Tyson Fury – no problem at all.
‘They need all four fighters on board to make it happen. I’m sure Usyk will do it, I know Deontay Wilder will do it.
‘Tyson Fury will think he holds the key to it. He’s going to fight Andy Ruiz Jr I believe in July, a decent warm-up fight for him.’
Meanwhile, Joshua himself recently admitted having ‘respect’ for Wilder, insisting that he felt the fight was ’95 per cent’ of the way to being made.
‘He is good, I respect him, I don’t undermine him. That will make me raise my game,’ he told Metro.
The hope is for Tyson Fury (L) to fight Oleksandr Usyk (R) while Joshua takes on Deontay Wilder
Wilder would fight Joshua – with both heavyweights having a lot to prove in their bids to return to the top
‘I respect what he has done and what he has done in this division. It is hard to become a champion and he did it so I have to respect that.
‘It’s going to be a tough fight but I am confident in myself. I’m a better, more well-rounded athlete, a better, more well-rounded fighter.
‘In terms of it getting delivered [from my side], I honestly believe it is 95 per cent there.’
Joshua has a mixed record in Saudi Arabia, having become world champion for a second time against Andy Ruiz Jr. in 2019 but losing to Usyk in 2022.