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Boxing | International

Hearn calls Wilder's bluff on Joshua title fight



American Deontay Wilder will have a contract in front of him by the end of this week for a world heavyweight unification bout with Britain's Anthony Joshua, the latter's promoter Eddie Hearn said on Tuesday.

Hearn told Sky Sports News it is the only way to find out if the WBC titleholder Wilder is serious about fighting Joshua even though reports out of the United States on Monday suggested he had accepted a two fight deal with the 2012 Olympic champion and now holder of the WBA, WBO and IBF belts.

Complicating matters is that Joshua is already due to take on WBA mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin.

"We've got to get to the bottom of it today, but one thing I can tell you is that by the end of this week Deontay Wilder will have a contract in front of him and we'll see if he's real," said Hearn.

"I think Wembley is where Anthony Joshua wants it to take place. He had a brilliant night there against Wladimir Klitschko and it seems a natural home."

If the fight is confirmed, it will be the biggest bout seen in the division in years.

The winner of a Joshua-Wilder bout would be the first man to hold all four heavyweight titles – WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO – simultaneously.

"The fact that we've lost four weeks waiting for an answer from Deontay Wilder makes a fight happening in 11 or 12 weeks of this magnitude unlikely," Hearn said.

"I think if it is before Povetkin then it runs on October/November. It's all come as a bit of a shock that Deontay's finally come back to us on the offer and seems to accept the terms. Now we have to find out if it's bluster or if it's real."



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