Eddie Hearn admits shock at Deontay Wilder confirmation, eyes later dates for Anthony Joshua unification

Ed Mulholland

Matchroom boss Eddie Hearn has admitted his shock at the late night statement by Deontay Wilder regarding an Anthony Joshua clash. 

Wilder took to social media after advisor Shelly Finkel exclusively confirmed to WBN that an offer to battle Joshua in the UK had been accepted.

Finkel told WBN: “The story is very simple and that is Deontay Wilder today, accepted the terms that Anthony Joshua’s team gave us.

“If for any reason Anthony changes his mind and wants to fight in the U.S, the $50m offer we have made to him is still there. It’s now in Joshua’s court.

“Hopefully, we’ll get an answer in the next day or two. Deontay wrote to Joshua and said ‘Hey, I accept your offer, let’s fight in the UK.’

“I met with Barry a week ago and we want the fight next, we’re waiting for the contract and we’re ready to go.”

And the legendary boxing manager and promoter confirmed there is a rematch clause inside the contract for another fight between the pair Stateside.

Finkel said: “That was in the offer, yes. They asked for the rematch to be in place, so we’ve agreed to it.

“We got two big punchers, big men, undefeated and have knocked out each opponent apart from one on each side – it’s a humungous fight.

“I talk to Deontay late at night and if he’s out I hear people in the background asking when this fight is happening, and I imagine Joshua is experiencing that even more so,” he concluded.

Hearn has since spoken to talkSPORT to confirm his response and plan to make the fight come to fruition in the coming months.

“Our original plan and hope was to do it in September but with (Mexican) Canelo (Alvarez) fighting on September 15th it makes it a little bit more difficult with US TV,” Hearn told talkSPORT.

“The fact that we’ve lost four weeks waiting for an answer from Deontay Wilder makes a fight happening in 11 or 12 weeks of this magnitude unlikely.

“I think if it is before Povetkin then it runs on October/November. It’s all come as a bit of a shock that Deontay’s finally come back to us on the offer and seems to accept the terms. Now we have to find out if it’s bluster or if it’s real,” he added.