Heavyweight king Anthony Joshua has already confirmed his first fight of 2018 with a massive unification opposite Joseph Parker set for March 31 at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff.
‘AJ’ has signalled his intention to unify all the title belts at 200 pounds plus, and with Alexander Povetkin lined up for the Parker undercard, the pair are set to face each other in a mandatory clash this summer should they come through victorious.
With Povetkin looking likely for the summer spot, promoter Eddie Hearn is set to arrange for his star man to settle number one contender duties with the Russian,
Last year, Hearn said Joshua would embark of a world tour in 2018, meaning a Povetkin fight could take place before a huge five-belt match-up with Deontay Wilder in the boxing capital of Las Vegas.
Outlining Joshua’s plans to eventually own all the straps available, Hearn stated heading across the pond for Wilder would have no bearing for the current IBF, IBO and WBA ruler whatsoever.
“The Wilder fight could be in America. We want to fight Wilder before the end of the year,” Hearn told Sky Sports.
“Our plan is box three times this year – end of August or early September, then December. We’ve got a base in America already. We’d rather the fight was in the UK but we’re not bothered if it has to be in America. No problem.”
On opening talks with Wilder in the coming months, Hearn admitted it won’t be an easy fight to get over the line.
“(It’s) more difficult, because if you go to the negotiating table with three belts instead of one, then you want an increase in the pie,” Hearn explained.
“Wilder is in a real fight against (Luis) Ortiz (on March 3rd), and victory would give him more value than he has at the moment.
“We have to give respect to Wilder because he’s having a proper fight. I believe he will beat Ortiz. It depends how he wins. If he comes through a war, those fights can take a lot out of you. If he wins impressively, he sends out a good statement. Everyone is going in the right direction.”
The potential 2018 Joshua plan:
March 31 – Joseph Parker (Cardiff, Wales) – WBA, IBF, IBO, WBO titles
August/September – Alexander Povetkin (UK/USA) – WBA, IBF, IBO, WBO titles
December – Deontay Wilder (Las Vegas) – WBC, WBA, IBF, IBO, WBO titles