Promoter Hearn: Joshua v Wilder has to happen, it’s the biggest fight in world boxing

The Matchroom boss, currently in New York for the debut of Danny Jacobs under his promotional banner, has responded to several calls from Wilder, his team and fans to get a unification across the line in the coming months.

Hearn hopes discussions with Shelly Finkel and Al Haymon are fruitful as the sport hold it’s breath for an agreement.

“It will be the first time this fight has ever been discussed,” Hearn told Sky Sports.

“So people talk about running and hiding but we can’t really do that until we know what’s on the table. We’ll find out.

“This is the biggest fight in world boxing, I think and that takes time. The fans should know that we’re proactive and we are putting our feet forward to try and make this fight.

“It has to happen in 2018, whether it happens next or in the summer or in the fall. It will happen and must happen,” he added.

Listening to Hearn’s initial comments, you can’t but wonder if 2018 means the latter half of the year in order to let the fight marinate and build.

Fans and media would surely disagree with any delay as Wilder is now six defences into his reign as WBC champion and Joshua holds three versions of the heavyweight crown.

Giving the clash a full six or seven months with the names dry on the contracts would seemingly be enough for all concerned, although Hearn’s plan could be to aim for Joseph Parker before heading into the Wilder fight a four-strap ruler.