Klitschko vs Joshua edges closer
Anthony Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn believes that an eye-catching heavyweight bout between his power-punching Brit and Wladimir Klitschko is close to being agreed.
Hearn spoke to Sky Sports News HQ, confirming that a deal is being thrashed out but there is still work to be done.
The Matchroom promoter said: "While you can never put every egg in the basket, most are in there now, saying 'this is next'.
"Now it's a case of going through the finer points of the agreement and I feel like most of the deal is done but there are still a lot of obstacles that can interrupt our progress.
"They are not really obstacles I feel should stop the fight from happening."
Former World Heavyweight Champion Klitschko found himself a lot lighter in the belt department last year when Tyson Fury surprised the boxing world by dethroning him. A unanimous and controversy-free decision saw Fury walk away with the WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO titles.
The controversy, however, was not far away, as Fury was stripped of the IBF title after refusing to fight mandatory challenger Vyacheslav Glazkov, in favour of a rematch with Wlad.
Charles Martin took that fight instead, and subsequently that belt, only for Anthony Joshua to knock him out in the 2nd round of the follow-up, making ‘AJ' World Champion for the first time.
One belt down, Fury had been defiant, calling the IBF “a duff organisation” and proclaiming himself the “best heavyweight in the world” regardless of who has that belt.
His highly anticipated July rematch with Klitschko was postponed, with his team citing an ankle injury. The same day also saw Fury, and his cousin Hughie, charged by UKAD (UK Anti-Doping) for the presence of a prohibited substance, a charge denied by both.
A challenge to the provisional bans saw them temporarily lifted, allowing Fury to take on Klitschko in a rescheduled rematch. This was also postponed indefinitely when Fury was declared “medically unfit”, leaving Klitschko without an opponent.
There is some serious suggestion that Fury could be stripped of his remaining belts, with the WBO losing patience and asking for a direct response from the elusive Fury. As a result, it is feasible that a fight between Joshua and Klitschko could see more than just the IBF title on the line.
Hearn added: "If we can get a couple of belts on the line, that would be fantastic.
"I just feel like it is the right fight for Anthony Joshua right now. He is committed, his training team is committed, I am committed, and I think Bernd [Boente, Klitschko's manager] and Wladimir are as well.
"If we can make sure everything is right, which I hope it is, then I think we will get there."
A date of November 26th is booked in Manchester Arena, but delays in the deal mean it could very well get pushed back.
"If a deal is going to be done, I think it should be done by the end of this week and if it's not, there is probably going to be a problem,” Hearn said.
"Of course we want to announce the fight but, at the same time, fights of this magnitude do take time and you have to make sure all the boxes are ticked."
Any fight between the two would likely be shown on Sky Box Office for a one-off fee.