The boxing world has been in anticipation of witnessing two giants of the sport in Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder square off against each other at some point this year. But, as things stand, it seems we would have to wait a bit longer than expected for it to come to fruition.
The World Boxing Council have officially ordered both Tyson Fury and Wilder camps to conclude their negotiations within February 5 for a rematch in spring.
On the other hand, Joshua, who has been searching for a worthy opponent since successfully defending his titles against Alexander Povetkin, has zeroed in on undefeated American star Jarrell Miller for a June 1 showdown.
Although Dillian Whyte was also in the mix to fight AJ, he is expected to face Dominic Breazeale next.
Meanwhile, Matchroom Sport chief Eddie Hearn launched an extraordinary attack on Deontay Wilder’s promoter Shelly Finkel and gave his take on the recent comments made by Wilder.
During an interview on Friday night, the WBC heavyweight champion disclosed that his rematch with Fury is close and suggested that he already has two years of fights lined up as well.
This means Wilder is prepared to keep Joshua waiting for at least a couple more years before coming anywhere close to facing him inside the ring.
And Hearn couldn’t hide his frustration at Wilder’s reluctance to make a deal.
The 39-year-old said: “Can you imagine if I said that [Wilder comment]? It shows how much he [Wilder] wants to be undisputed though doesn’t it.
“No one asks him the questions. He was in an interview yesterday with Stephen A Smith on ESPN and they went ‘If the Fury fight doesn’t get made, do you think there’s a chance you could fight Anthony Joshua?’
“And he went ‘They don’t want it mate, they’re not interested’.”
Hearn then resurfaced an old joke by referring to Shelly Finkel as ‘Shirley Winkel’ and opened up on what has really happened.
The Brit added: “Why didn’t someone say to him ‘Well Eddie Hearn has just said that he sent you six or seven emails to Shirley Winkle and they haven’t replied to one?
“Because that f****r is so arrogant – Shirley Winkle – he won’t even reply to an email.
“And I’ve tried to be nice because he’s said to me ‘Eddie don’t say bad things about me in the media’ but f**k it. He won’t even have the courtesy to reply to an email.”
You can see Hearn lose his rag by skipping to 24:50 in the video below: