Hearn willing to ‘overpay’ for Joshua v Parker in spring before summer Wilder blockbuster

The Matchroom boss has opened talks with Joseph Parker and Deontay Wilder’s representatives about pitting Joshua against his fellow champions in the coming year.

Hearn outlined his intention for Joshua to agree terms with both but leaned towards facing Parker first before a Wilder encounter in the summer for all the heavyweight marbles.

“The Joseph Parker fight appeals to us, as does the Deontay Wilder fight. We are in negotiations now with both camps,” Hearn told Sky Sports in New York City.

“The big problem with Joseph Parker is that his value is very small – worldwide, to be honest with you, but we have to give him the respect that he’s champion and has a belt.

“We are prepared to overpay him in that sense. In the negotiations, we have to find somewhere between reality and fantasy.

“I know what they are worth in the fight and if we can find a middle ground the fight’s going to be made.

“If it’s not Wilder in the spring, we’d love it to be Parker in order to go into the Wilder fight with all the belts and then we only need one to be the undisputed king of boxing.”

Parker’s promoter David Higgins has already confirmed the New Zealander is on board with battling Joshua in March or April and is hopeful they don’t have to call on several back up options, including Lucas Browne.

“The message was they want each other next. So it’s really down to a question of the deal and the money,” Higgins stated.

“We would acknowledge that Joshua, if the fight was to happen in his home nation, has a big fan base and you might go a little his way, but not a lot.

“If they really want to unify now, they will pay more than otherwise, more than a voluntary.

“We have other options and if he disrespects us, we will go in another direction. The fans want to see that fight but it might be that it happens in the second quarter or another year.”