Tuesday 28 November 2017 19:51, UK
Fresh negotiations for Anthony Joshua to face Deontay Wilder were held this month and Matchroom Boxing chairman Barry Hearn remains hopeful the unification clash will be staged next year.
Joshua has urged his promotional team to fulfil his ambitions of fighting for all the heavyweight world titles and he is edging closer to a clash with WBO champion Joseph Parker in March or April.
WBC title holder Deontay Wilder has also been targeted by Joshua, the WBA 'Super' and IBF champion, and Hearn is optimistic this blockbuster bout can take place after holding recent talks with the American's advisor Shelly Finkel.
"I've known Shelly Finkel for 30 years, sociably as friends, as business people," Hearn exclusively told Sky Sports. "We sit down, two old men, discussing fights we would like to see made. I can't call them positive, but I call them open as two friends would talk openly.
"The detail will go down when Eddie sits down with Al Haymon, because they are the two guys who actually call the shots. Shelly and I are advisors and I think it's a fight that we would both like to see. There is no reason why it can't be staged next summer.
Shelly and I are advisors and I think it's a fight that we would both like to see. There is no reason why it can't be staged next summer.
"The big problem you've got with anyone who fights Joshua is - the demands of the opponent financially, because you've got this financial juggernaut called Anthony Joshua that brings so much to the table, in comparison to what other people bring.
"There is a premium for belts of course, because Anthony has made it clear he wants to collect all the belts, but it's not a silly premium. Of course, when you get people who haven't had the earning power that Joshua has, this is their big pay day.
"Put yourself in their position. I'm sure they will all talk the fight up, I'm sure they all fancy winning. But realistically, they are putting their career on the line against one of the most fearsome heavyweights I have ever seen and for that, it brings along the expectancy of a big purse."
Hearn has backed Joshua to become undisputed champion, with four belts by the end of next year.
"If Parker's people are serious about fighting 'AJ' in March-April time, and I think they are - again they are probably unrealistic, but I don't think they are too far away," said Hearn.
"That could obviously be the WBO belt and Deontay Wilder - that fight has to happen at some stage. Is it the summer of 2018? Or is it November-December 2018?
"I believe it would certainly be one of those dates. I believe for a particular moment of time, by the end of 2018, Anthony Joshua will have more belts around him than Father Christmas will have around his stomach."