Joshua’s team gives 10 days on finding an opponent

Unified World Heavyweight Champion Anthony Joshua [Courtesy]

Anthony Joshua’s team have put a 10-day deadline on their search for his next opponent, with chances of a Deontay Wilder showdown fading fast after talks broke down again.

Wilder has always been Joshua’s No 1 preference for an April 13 fight at Wembley, despite the likelihood that the WBC champion would instead face Tyson Fury in a rematch or take on his mandatory challenger Dominic Breazeale.

There had been a private hope that the American might yet be swayed, but Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn revealed that the past ‘five or six’ emails to Wilder have gone unanswered across a period of three weeks.

A new offer is being drafted for Wilder that will be sent this week, with proposals also going out to Fury and Dillian Whyte, who last week hit out at the ‘utterly ridiculous’ terms put forward by Joshua’s team. 

No official approach has yet been made to American Jarrell Miller for a fight at Madison Square Garden but it is a match-up under consideration, particularly with the situation so cloudy and the clock ticking.

Joshua’s team have put a 10-day deadline on their search for his next opponent [Courtesy]

Whyte has long been considered the most realistic option, but Hearn says there is ‘no clear favourite’ at this stage, with only 13 weeks until his Wembley reservation.

Hearn said: “It’s important at this point for everyone to realise there is a big difference between fighters wanting to face Anthony Joshua and fighters simply saying they want to.”

“We have made offers to the major heavyweight contenders and we will be making more offers in the next couple of days with a view to finalising a decision in the next 10 days over Joshua’s next fight.”

“Deontay Wilder, Tyson Fury and Dillian Whyte all have the opportunity to get in the ring at Wembley in April and fight for Joshua’s four word titles. If you think you can beat him, our message is simple: come and get it. Who really wants it? This is your chance.”

On Wilder, with whom talks were resurrected after his draw against Fury in December, Hearn said: “The difficulty and frustration is that I have now gone five or six unanswered emails from their end across three weeks or so.” 

“Is Wilder bluffing the public when he says he wants this fight?

“If he truly wants it, it’s there and he knows it.”

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