Why is promoter Eddie Hearn smiling? Well, we won’t know until next week, but Hearn has gone on record as saying he hopes to have some huge news in the coming days regarding the next fight for Anthony Joshua, and that if things come off – things that currently have him smiling with optimism – we will be in store for “good news that will blow our minds.”
Speaking with ESPN.com, Hearn said that Wladimir Klitschko is now “favourite” to fight Joshua next, with the probable date being December 10 (interestingly, the same night David Haye is set to return to action according to his recent Tweet).
“Next week for sure, we are getting very close,” Hearn said. “Fingers crossed next week we will have some good news that will blow your mind. I’m smiling, so perhaps that’s giving the game away. Wladimir Klitschko is the favourite now [to fight IBF champ Joshua next]. Everyone is working together to make sure that’s the next fight. If it is Wladimir Klitschko it could be pushed back to December 10. We want to build it up with press tours and press conferences so it could be Dec 3, Dec 19, Dec 17.”
Joshua-Klitschko is of course a huge fight, maybe not as big as the now scrapped Tyson Fury-Klitschko rematch (which seems now to never happen, for well documented reasons) but big all the same. If it happens, it will be in the UK, at the Manchester Arena, and there could even be a big under-card that night (with rumours flying, suggesting we could see anything from a Shannon Briggs-David Price fight to a Dereck Chisora-Dillian Whyte fight).
Is it too early for AJ to be tangling with Klitscko? Is Klitschko past his best and ready for the taking? We might get our answers this year and if Hearn is still smiling next week, look for this huge fight to be confirmed.
Speaking again of Haye, the rumour mill has been working overtime regarding just who the former WBA heavyweight champ will face on Dec 10 in what will be his third comeback fight of the year. Lucas Browne, set to return from his doping ban, is apparently a possibility, with a version of the WBA belt to be on the line. While IBF mandatory Joseph Parker, also highly ranked by the WBO, could be fighting fellow unbeaten Andy Ruiz Jr for the soon to be vacant belt, in New Zealand before the end of the year.
We may be further away from an undisputed heavyweight king than we have been in some time, but there is no shortage when it comes to intriguing heavyweight match-ups being on the cards; all as a result of the turmoil Fury’s unfortunate problems have caused.