BOXING

SPRING FLING Eddie Hearn reveals new timeline for Anthony Joshua vs Deontay Wilder ahead of blockbuster Saudi card

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EDDIE HEARN is hoping a spring showdown between Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wildeill come to fruition in the next few weeks.

The long-time rivals were on course for a December dust-up before Saudi boxing chiefs, bizarrely, withdrew their interest in hosting the fight.

Both men, however, will be in action on a hastily put-together Christmas cracker of a card on December 23, in which they’ll take on Otto Wallin and Joseph Parker respectively.

Fight fans around the world are hoping both men dispatch Wallin and Parker to preserve their long-overdue showdown, which Hearn hopes to put on in March.

He told The MacLife: “We had six weeks, really, when we received a phone call from Saudi Arabia to say, ‘Do you want to fight on the card?

“‘Otto Wallin is the opponent. And at the same time, we got offered fights for [Dmitry] Bivol and [Jai] Opetaia and AJ was up for it.

“He wanted to fight three times this year. Wilder is on the card; victory for both and the fight is inevitable.

“We got from a situation of it being pretty much agreed for January to not being agreed.

“But now we fight in December and hopefully we make the fight for March.”

Joshua and Wilder, 34 and 38 respectively, are both of Nigerian descent and proudly discuss that fact.

And Hearn believes their grudge match would be the perfect fight to commemorate the 50th anniversary of The Rumble in the Jungle.

anthony joshua

 

The Matchroom Boxing chief told the BBC: “It’s something that would be iconic for the sport.

“When we’re visiting these countries, there’s government funding to stage these events.

“We’ve had a couple of approaches. Obviously, Anthony Joshua – with his Nigerian descent – is always keen to visit and stage a major event there.”

With that anniversary approaching, we’ve often talked about a big Anthony Joshua fight – even revisiting the famous scenes in Zaire of the Rumble in the Jungle.

“Visually, it would be incredible and something Anthony would love to tick off the box before the end of his career.”

Wilder, meanwhile, faces former WBO heavyweight champ Parker on the back of a brutal one-punch KO of Helenius last October.

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