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Eddie Hearns confirms Deontay Wilder will receive a contract to fight Anthony Joshua next week

Eddie Hearn has revealed a fight between Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder would likely occur in November in Cardiff – assuming the American is ‘serious’ about wanting it.

Wilder declared via social media on Monday night that he had accepted Joshua’s terms for an autumn fight, just as it appeared to be set in stone that the Brit holder of the IBF, WBA and WBO belts would next fight his WBA mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin.

A fight with Wilder has always been Plan A for Joshua, but after lengthy talks with the WBC champion struggled to produce a definitive scenario, a deal had largely been concluded with Povetkin for September in London. With that bout on the cusp of being announced, Wilder’s sudden willingness to put pen to paper has drawn scepticism from the Joshua’s camp, who will now test his intentions with a contract.

That was being drawn up on Tuesday and will be in front of Wilder by Friday at the latest and his response, having evidently agreed all terms, will determine if he is Joshua’s next opponent, or if the Brit fights him next spring once Povetkin has been faced.

If the Wilder fight is next up for Joshua, then the original plan of September 15 is now highly unlikely due to the lack of time involved, as well as the US television clash with Canelo Alvarez’s return from a drug’s ban. October or November are being considered, though it is understood that the latter is more likely, and Cardiff would be the principle option because it is indoors.

Hearn told Sportsmail: ‘We made him (Wilder) an offer four weeks and now they have come back via social media accepting terms and wanting to proceed to contract. I have not known a fight where a party has been so keen for a fight but done so much of the deal on social media.

“We have to take it seriously. The only way to find out what is real is to get the contract to them.

‘We were looking at September but is there the time to do it? That seems unlikely because we are now four weeks on, plus it clashes with Canelo. That would mean October or November and probably in Cardiff. AJ would want Wembley for a fight of this magnitude but if we do October or November you can’t really do that outdoors.

‘We will wait and see what happens when we get the contract back. We will continue looking at Povetkin and we are ready to sign either way. But we need to get the contract back from Deontay Wilder – then we will know if this is bluster or if he is serious.’

Wilder had initially attempted to lure Joshua to the US with a $50m offer. On Monday night he posted: ‘The $50M offer for Joshua to fight me next in the US is still available to him if he wants it.

‘In addition to that, today I agreed to their offer to fight Joshua next in the U.K. If Joshua prefers the fight in the UK. the ball is in their court. It’s up to them to choose US or UK. I’m in.’

Wilder’s manager Shelly Finkel revealed a rematch clause was part of the original offer from Hearn.


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