Anthony Joshua vs Deontay Wilder to be finalised in next ‘three weeks’ as Eddie Hearn gives update on Saudi showdown

ANTHONY JOSHUA’s long-awaited showdown with Deontay Wilder is set to be finalised in the next “three weeks”.

Former two-time heavyweight champion Joshua began targeting a long-overdue grudge match with The Bronze Bomber before kicking off his career rebuild with a scrappy win over Jermaine Franklin in April.

Talks over the lucrative Saudi showdown heated up before the Watford warrior’s brutal seventh-round KO of Robert Helenius earlier this month and have since continued.

And AJ promoter Eddie Hearn expects them to come to a head imminently, telling Fight Hub TV when asked for a timeline: “Two or three weeks.”

Matchroom Boxing chief Hearn added: “I’ve been to Saudi Arabia twice to negotiate this fight.

“I’ve had two meetings, three meetings in London.

“I’m not doing it for banter. My instructions from Anthony Joshua [are] ‘I want to fight Deontay Wilder.’

“The only way this fight doesn’t happen is if Saudi doesn’t deliver the fight.

“[Wilder manager] Shelly Finkel, Wilder, as far as I’m hearing from them directly, they are in. We are in.

“We just need to sign a contract and go through the procedures to get that done.”

Joshua and Wilder, 33 and 37 respectively, were on a collision course in 2018 when they held all the heavyweight titles but the mouthwatering fight didn’t come to fruition.

Their long-overdue clash is currently being targeted for January, although Hearn admits AJ could be back in the ring in December should the fight fall through.

Hearn said: “If it doesn’t happen, I think he’ll (Joshua) fight in December.

“But I’m not spinning that fight. All of our efforts have been for that fight.

“Honestly I wouldn’t waste my time flying all around the world trying to pretend that that’s the fight we want.

“That is the fight we want.

“It’s a massive fight, massive money, and that is what I have been instructed to deliver for AJ.”

He added: “We are positive. Like I said, we are in. If it can be delivered, we are in.”

Anthony Joshua vs Deontay Wilder to be finalised in next ‘three weeks’ as Eddie Hearn gives update on Saudi showdown | The Sun

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