Heavyweight Boxers Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder to fight in 2018?
Talks have begun to ink a potential heavyweight super-fight between boxers Deontay Wilder and Anthony Joshua, but an undefeated Joseph Parker is also in the mix.
Updated: Nov. 11, 2017 • 7:14 PM ET
Anthony Joshua has yet to lose a fight in his superb boxing career.
American boxing fans may finally get the fight they’ve desired — a fight the heavyweight division has needed for many years. Or, at least it may be moving in the right direction.
Promoter Eddie Hearn verified Thursday that talks have begun on a world title fight between British champion Anthony Joshua and American rival and champion Deontay Wilder.
Joshua is the WBA, IBF and IBO champion while Wilder is the WBC title holder. A matchup between the two would be a super-fight to unify the heavyweight division.
Both fighters are imposing figures and pose a great threat to the other. Between their 59 combined professional fights, only one has gone the distance. Joshua is 20-0 with 20 knockouts, while Wilder is 39-0, claiming that one and only decision victory.
Joshua is coming off a 10th round TKO victory over replacement fighter Carlos Takam in October, while Wilder handed a brutal first round beating to Bermane Stiverne on Nov. 4. The fight was a rematch from 2015, in which Stiverne was able to go the distance with Wilder.
"It doesn't happen overnight, this is the first meeting [on Thursday],” Hearn, Joshua’s promoter, told Sky Sports. “It may go well, it may go terribly, it may go OK. Fans need to know we are being proactive.
"We want the fight. The Wilder fight will happen in 2018 unquestionably. It's just a case of whether it's next, in the summer and, importantly, where it [takes place].
The winner of a Joshua-Wilder fight would likely face New Zealand's Joseph Parker next, and a win over the undefeated WBO champion would result in holding all five heavyweight titles at the same time.
Wilder has actively stalked Joshua via social media for the better part of a year. After his victory over Stiverne, he had a message for Joshua via Instagram.
Parker and his promoter, David Higgins, made it public at a media conference in New Zealand on Wednesday that they too are in talks with Hearn.
"What we're saying is that Joseph Parker and Anthony Joshua have signaled that they potentially fight next, as in March or April," Higgins said via ESPN.
He added, "Our message to the Joshua camp is, yes, we will take the fight, but the deal has to respect Joseph having earned a genuine world title. The starting point for negotiations is obviously 50-50 but we would acknowledge that Joshua, if the fight were to happen in his home nation, he has a big fan base there. It might go a little his way, but not a lot."
Joshua has drawn massive pay-per-view and in-attendance crowds in the U.K., bringing 90,000 to Wembley Stadium for the Wladimir Klitschko fight in April. Wilder seems to be the more eager between he and Parker to travel to the U.K. for a fight with Joshua.
Either fight would be a massive boost in popularity for the heavyweight division and the sport. Fans can only hope one of them takes place sooner than later.