Showtime executive Stephen Espinoza says he expects an agreement for Anthony Joshua v Deontay Wilder to be completed in 2018.
Espinoza, who has a deal in place to show Joshua fights in the US, gave his view on the current stay of play between the two heavyweight champions.
In another WORLD EXCLUSIVE this week, World Boxing News were informed by Wilder’s team that a contract to fight Anthony Joshua had been received.
Wilder’s advisor and co-manager Shelly Finkel was expecting the paperwork to be sent from Matchroom’s Barry Hearn from Friday onwards and confirmed to WBN it was in his hands on Monday evening.
The massive undisputed unification could be clarified this week as both sides manoeuvre the current terms on the table.
With the clock ticking, Joshua could still focus on a mandatory defense against Alexander Povetkin this fall, whilst keeping his irons in the fire with Wilder for 2019.
Despite Povetkin waiting in the wings, Espinoza sees Joshua v Wilder taking place this year.
“There’s a lot of positioning,” Espinoza told TMZ Sports.
“I think anytime you see guys talking to the press about a negotiation, generally that means there’s very little actual negotiating going on.
“But the ball is rolling. ‘Things are moving. Discussions are happening. I think that once we get past a certain hump it will happen very quickly. So I’m still optimistic we’ll get it this year,” he added.
Should ‘AJ’ focus on his stipulations with both the WBA and WBO, Wilder would then have to turn his attention to a clash with number one contender Dominic Breazeale – a former Joshua opponent.
Joshua has already turned down 50 million dollars in favour of taking on Wilder in the UK, although the Briton’s promoter Eddie Hearn has now put the ball in Wilder’s court moving forward.