A massive heavyweight contest between IBF champion Anthony Joshua and wily veteran Wladimir Klitschko has moved a step closer to happening this week.
Promoter Eddie Hearn had stated a few days ago that the fight was around 60-40 in favour of going ahead as both sides push for a deal in the wake of the controversial Tyson Fury scandal.
Joshua was set to return to action in November, potentially against mandatory Joseph Parker, Kubrat Pulev or David Price, although Hearn jumped at the chance to approach Klitschko when his fight with Fury fell apart for the second time.
Title holder ‘AJ’ is also keen to secure a career-defining night as the 2012 Olympic gold medallist aims to extend his progression to the highest possible level.
“I was with Anthony yesterday and it’s definitely the fight he wants,” Hearn told Sky Sports News HQ.
“People say, ‘shouldn’t it wait until the summer’ and ‘wouldn’t it be a stadium fight?’ – But you can’t work like that in boxing. When an opportunity strikes you have to take it. And I feel this is the right opportunity now.”
Asked if November 26 was still the target date, Hearn replied: “Yeah, it is. Although fights like this sell out within minutes, they deserve a big lead-up time, deserve a big build-up time. There is the opportunity to push the fight into December, which we are looking at as well.”
On whether the 60-40 odds had improved, the Matchroom boss added: “I’ll give you another ten percent and move it to 70-30.”
Klitschko, 40, has lost a year of his boxing life to the Fury debacle and is keen to reignite his career following a first loss in over a decade to the 28 year-old last November.
A world title chance is at the forefront of the Ukrainian’s mind at the moment, but only the IBF and WBA routes seem open to Klitschko once Fury is eventually stripped.