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‘I’ve been to Saudi Arabia twice to negotiate this fight’: Eddie Hearn talks Anthony Joshua vs Deontay Wilder

Eddie Hearn says their side is fully committed to making a big time fight against Deontay Wilder.

Eddie Hearn gives an update on the negotiations between Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder.
Wil Esco is an assistant editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2014.

Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn talks about his efforts to make a heavyweight fight between Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder and sort of scoffs of the notion that their side is only feigning interest for publicity. As Hearn tells it, they’re completely settled on making the fight so long as the Saudi’s deliver on the money side of things.

On the status of a fight between Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder and the suggestion by some that they’re not genuinely interested

“I think Johnny Nelson ‘I think this is just spin.’ Like, I’m not being funny. I’ve been to Saudi Arabia twice to negotiate this fight. I’ve had two meetings, three meetings in London, see. I’m not doing it for banter.

“My instructions from Anthony Joshua, ‘I want to fight Deontay Wilder.’ The only way this fight doesn’t happen — if Saudi don’t deliver the fight. Shelly Finkel, Wilder — as far as I’m hearing from them directly — they are in. We are in. Just need to sign the contract and go through the procedures to get that done.

“If it doesn’t happen, I think he’ll fight in December. But it’s not ‘oh, we’re spinning that fight’ — all of our efforts have been for that fight. I honestly wouldn’t waste my time flying around the world trying to pretend that that’s the fight we want. That is the fight we want. That is a massive fight, massive money, and that is what I’ve been instructed to deliver for AJ.”

On what kind of timetable we’re looking at to finalize the fight

“ASAP. Frank Smith was in a meeting with Prince Khaled yesterday, skills challenge. I think they’re talking about a time frame of a week or two weeks. The fight’s scheduled to take place the middle-to-end of January. We’re all positive and like I said, we’re in. If it can be delivered, we’re in.

“If we don’t get that Wilder fight in the next — and I’m not putting a time frame on it — but, I don’t know, two or three weeks, which is no reason why we shouldn’t, we may start looking at a fight in November, December.

“We can still fight Wilder in February or March. The only other thing is Wilder’s comments about is he gonna fight. I think Malik Scott said he may fight in October. That’s a concern for us because I don’t really want him to fight later than September if he’s fighting in January. But, you know, we’ll see what they say. I truly believe Wilder is in for the fight, I truly believe that. I don’t think they’re wasting their time either.

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