Joshua vs Povetkin: Deontay Wilder 'very welcome' to Anthony Joshua fight as negotiations remain deadlocked
By James Dielhenn
Last Updated: 19/07/18 7:19pm
Deontay Wilder has been urged to "join the party" and fight Anthony Joshua at Wembley, by promoter Eddie Hearn.
An April 13 date at the national stadium has been reserved if negotiations to lure Wilder yield success - in the meantime, Joshua's IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles will be defended against Alexander Povetkin on September 22 in his second Wembley headline appearance, live on Sky Sports Box Office.
"The only focus is Povetkin and Wilder, that's all we want," Joshua's promoter Hearn told Sky Sports.
If you want to join the party you are very welcome.
Eddie Hearn tells Deontay Wilder
"If we can't get that, there are plenty more people that want to come to the party.
"There's a great young heavyweight in Dillian Whyte who will make some noise next week [against Joseph Parker].
"We deal with reality, we plan our own moves, we plan our own strategy. We can't make Wilder sign a contract that he has already agreed to - that's up to him."
Unbeaten world champions Joshua and Wilder have a combined 59 knockouts from 61 fights, and a meeting between them would have all four major titles on the line.
Hearn reiterated that Wilder's team are in receipt of a contract to agree the undisputed world heavyweight title fight, saying: "It's the contract he agreed to, with all the terms. I don't see why [he wouldn't sign], if he's a man of his word.
"He's throwing his toys out of his pram - 'I'll only fight if it's 50-50'. That's ridiculous.
"I think he'll look at the plans for his career and think: 'I could really do with that $15 million. If he believes he can win the fight, he turns that $15m into $30m or $40m in the next one. Where else will he see that money?
"But who knows. We can't look past Povetkin. We plan our strategy and know our future - September 22 and April 13.
"If you want to join the party you are very welcome. But if you don't want to join the party, there are people like Whyte in the fight of his life next weekend, or Jarrell Miller who was jumping on the stage."
WBA mandatory challenger Povetkin, whose only loss in 35 fights came to Wladimir Klitschko five years ago, will first look to claim Joshua's three belts and scupper his future plans.
Wednesday's Wembley press conference featured a comparison to Lennox Lewis' shock defeat to Oliver McCall, suffered when he was already negotiating his next fights.
"Povetkin is not McCall," Hearn said. "Povetkin is No 3 in the world - he's the third best heavyweight out there. Joshua could easily lose to Povetkin.
"He has plenty of experience, he's an Olympic gold medallist, he's had a great amateur pedigree, he's technically very good, he punches very hard, he's got a great chin and great stamina."
Watch Anthony Joshua defend his world heavyweight titles against Alexander Povetkin at Wembley Stadium, on September 22, live on Sky Sports Box Office.
Watch Dillian Whyte vs Joseph Parker, live on Sky Sports Box Office, from The O2, Saturday, July 28. Book online here.