Anthony Joshua could target Deontay Wilder by end of next year if he defeats Wladimir Klitschko
By Richard Damerell
Last Updated: 18/12/16 12:41pm
Anthony Joshua could take another world title unification fight against Deontay Wilder before the end of 2017, says promoter Eddie Hearn.
The IBF champion makes the next defence of his title against Wladimir Klitschko and the vacant WBA 'super' belt is also on the line at Wembley Stadium on April 29, live on Sky Sports Box Office.
Matchroom Boxing boss Hearn has been drawing up Joshua's plans for next year, which could include a mandatory title defence against Kubrat Pulev, and maybe even a fight against WBC champion Wilder.
Hearn had a brief chat with Wilder at the recent WBC convention, and told Sky Sports: "'It won't be long,' that's what I said to him. He said 'I know, I know.'
"It's a big fight, it's a wonderful fight, and could be for four belts. Towards the end of the year, I don't see why not, or certainly early in 2018.
They are two young lions, two competitors, and I think it's important they meet.
"Joshua will have between two or three fights a year now, so realistically it could be the back end of this year, or if not, early 2018.
"They are two young lions, two competitors, and I think it's important they meet. I think their styles will make a great fight."
Pulev is the next available challenger after Joseph Parker opted to pursue the WBO belt and Hearn expects the IBF to order this title defence after the Klitschko fight.
"Hes is the mandatory, so after this fight, we'll have to fight Kubrat Pulev and we'll have to see if we do or not," said Hearn.
"Obviously, we want to to keep the IBF world championship, but we'll have to deal with that after April 29.
"I don't think he will box again until probably September after that."
Parker now holds the WBO title after last weekend's points win over Andy Ruiz Jr and Hearn views the New Zealander as a "winnable" fight for Joshua, but is refusing to look too far past the Klitschko clash.
"It's very difficult to collect all the belts, to keep all the organisations happy and stuff like that," said Hearn.
"The WBO, of course Joseph Parker won at the weekend, and that is a fight we think is very winnable.
"Deontay Wilder is a fight we want as well, but this is the one we have to get through - and I don't think anyone can overlook or look through this fight."