After months of deliberation, it looks like Anthony Joshua's first big fight for 2018 is close to being finalised.
New Zealander Joseph Parker is set to be his opponent, with both parties now coming to terms with the purse available for the fight.
Eddie Hearn and Joshua are keen to begin unifying the heavyweight division, with Parker currently holding the WBO title after narrowly defeating Hughie Fury in his last fight.
The fight should happen in spring, with Cardiff being touted as a potential the venue, the same place Joshua defeated Carlos Takam.
Negotiations between Team Parker and Team AJ have been pretty farcical, with money the key issue.
Parker and David Higgins demanded a bigger split of the pay, but many people criticised them for this, stating that a fight against the biggest name in the division should be enough of a pay day.
However, there may be a significant reason behind their fury, because Hearn has revealed a detail which hasn't been brought up until now.
Turns out, Team Parker caught whiff that Hearn paid Charles Martin a significantly higher sum than he intended to offer them.
HEARN REVEALS ALL
“We paid Martin an absolute fortune—$6million? Something like that,” admitted Hearn when analysing what he believes is both his “best and worst” deal.
“You look back and think, 'It's the worst deal, he got ironed out in two rounds', and Josh will sometimes say, 'Cor, what we paid Charles Martin'. But then I say, 'Mate, it hasn't worked out too badly, has it?' In terms of Joshua, it was the best deal—it's all about moving at the right time.”
Now, Hearn has decided to make a similar offer to Parker, with the idea being that Joshua holds all the aces when discussing a potential fight with Tyson Fury.
“The Parker deal might not look like a good deal at the time, but it might turn out like Charles Martin,” added Hearn.
“Everyone looks at the Martin deal and says, 'You paid $6 million to him and you won't give us $5 million for a unification'. But the game has changed completely...Parker's the first one and [WBC holder Deontay] Wilder is the next one. That really is the plan for 2018.”
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