In Brief

Anthony Joshua vs. Deontay Wilder: American ‘won’t answer phone’, says Eddie Hearn

Bob Arum urges British boxing star Joshua to fight in the United States

Anthony Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn believes Deontay Wilder and his team have “made their mind up” and don’t want to arrange a super-fight.

British boxer Joshua - the WBA ‘super’, IBF and WBO champion - has booked Wembley Stadium for 13 April but his next opponent is yet to be confirmed.

Joshua wants to face WBC belt holder Wilder to decide the heavyweight division’s undisputed champion, but Hearn says the American won’t return his calls.  

Speaking to Sky Sports News, Matchroom Sport boss Hearn said: “We can’t get any response at all from their team. In the last four or five weeks, I’ve sent five or six emails to Shelly Finkel [Wilder’s promoter]. They won’t even have the decency to come back.

“I think they’ve made their mind up - they don’t want to fight Anthony Joshua. It’s frustrating because I think we’re in a place where it’s a really great deal.

“Wilder has always said ‘one face, one name, one champion’, but the deal we’ve offered is more than a fair split for Wilder. And it’s two fights - one in the UK and one in the US.

“But he’s not even entertaining that fight. Wilder won’t even answer the phone, so that’s well out the window.”

With a bout against Wilder looking unlikely, Hearn confirmed that Dillian Whyte, Tyson Fury and Jarrell Miller are all still possible next opponents for Joshua.

Sky Sports reports that Hearn is hoping to make an announcement in the next week.

Anthony Joshua is the reigning IBF, WBA (Super), IBO and WBO heavyweight boxing champion

Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Arum: Joshua desperately needs US fight

Bob Arum, the legendary boxing promoter, has urged Anthony Joshua to fight in the United States. 

Saying that fights against “no-hopers” in the UK have “damaged” Joshua’s credibility, 87-year-old Arum told BBC Sport: “In the US if you ask people who the number one heavyweight is, I think many people will say Tyson Fury. He [Joshua] needs really desperately to come to fight in the United States.

“And I say that not because I’m an American, I say that because, economically, the US market is still the most important, because the pay-per-view in the United States has the potential of 200 million, 150 million homes.”

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