Boxing blockbuster as Joshua-Wilder fight 'a certainty'

Anthony Joshua's promoter has confirmed the rumours we all wanted to be true - Joshua and Deontay Wilder will do battle in 2018.

Promoter Eddie Hearn says there is "absolutely no question" that Joshua will face Wilder in a heavyweight unification bout next year.

Wilder called out the IBF and WBA champion after defending his WBC title against Bermane Stiverne recently, and Hearn met with Wilder's promoter in the USA on Thursday.

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Hearn said a meeting between the two undefeated fighters would be the "biggest fight in world boxing".

"Joshua wants this fight bad, Wilder wants it bad as well," he said.

How good would Wilder v Joshua be? Image: Getty

"It's going to happen in 2018, absolutely no question. You can't get away with not making fights any more because when you do you wake up to a million tweets.

"Unfortunately, Anthony has to overpay opponents. If we offered Deontay the correct purse for this fight it would never happen because he would think it was disrespectful.

"So we have to overpay him to make it happen. And we have to give him respect because he's a great fighter, a great champion, really exciting, a great self promoter."

Wilder recently accused Joshua's management of "ducking" him and says he is prepared to come to the United Kingdom to make the heavyweight mega-fight happen.

"I think Eddie is ducking me more so than Joshua," Wilder told BBC Sport.

"If Joshua's a strong champion, a true champion, you guys in England should smoke him out, make him fight.

"You should see if he's the best. My heart says I'm the best. If I'm not, I want someone to show me."

Joshua, 28, defended his belts by beating Carlos Takam in Cardiff and Wilder says he is willing to cross the Atlantic to face the former Olympic champion.

"Packing out stadiums looks good, but the money and Mecca of boxing is in America," Wilder said.

"But if you want to stay at home like a little girl, this king has no problem travelling to knock out the champion."

Joshua, who could also fight New Zealand's Joseph Parker for the WBO belt, says Hearn is preparing an offer for Wilder.

"If Wilder's not making an offer, we'll do it on my terms," Joshua told Britain's Press Association.

"Everyone says they want to fight and then sits back and waits for me to do all the homework.

"What we then have to do -- which Eddie's doing -- is fly out to the United States to make time.

"There's one thing talking and acting, but negotiations don't happen over social media. We're now making the moves forward."

Parker is also in the mix. Image: Getty

Joshua added: "I'm serious about becoming undisputed heavyweight champion of the world.

"We're just making sure that a lot of these guys who are making noise will back up what they're saying."

Parker's promoter, David Higgins, has claimed his fighter has an agreement to fight Joshua next.

with AFP