Eddie Hearn says Anthony Joshua is 'in line for an IBF title' tilt

Eddie Hearn reveals Anthony Joshua is ‘potentially in line for an IBF title’ tilt, after a big-money bout against Deontay Wilder ‘fell through’ as the Matchroom promoter claims the American ‘don’t really want to fight’

  • Eddie Hearn has revealed Anthony Joshua could enter an IBF world title fight
  • A money-spinning proposal for AJ to take on Deontay Wilder fell through 
  • But the Brit boxer could take on the undefeated Croatian fighter Filip Hrgovic

Eddie Hearn has revealed Anthony Joshua’s next plan after claming that the money-spinning proposal to enter the ring with Deontay Wilder has ‘fallen through’.

Negotiations saw Wilder and AJ approaching a deal to fight each other, but the plan is thought to have been called off due to a change in boxing management in Saudi Arabia.

Matchroom promoter Hearn has now confirmed the possibility that AJ’s return to the ring could be an IBF world title fight. 

Hearn spoke to boxing journalist Michael Benson about the talks with the Bronze Bomber, as reported on X.

Hearn said: ‘We were offered a deal that we accepted [but it fell through]. It’s not my fault now that some of the alternatives may not be anywhere near the last number, so that makes us reconsider our options.’

Anthony Joshua could take on an IBF world title fight after Deontay Wilder talks fell through

Promoter Eddie Hearn his focus with AJ has turned to possibly Filip Hrgovic or Otto Wallin

Hearn believes Wilder ‘don’t really wanna fight’ after the negotiations with AJ fell through

He elaborated on the possible next route for Joshua’s career. ‘We’re also in line potentially to fight for the IBF world title vs Filip Hrgovic/Otto Wallin’, the 44-year-old promoter said. 

‘So I don’t care about Deontay Wilder, he’s in his own problems, the guy ain’t fought for a year and his last fight was about 40 seconds. He don’t really wanna fight, I don’t think.’

Mail Sport previously reported on the possibility of Joshua having a potential shot at the vacant IBF heavyweight world title as a consequence of Tyson Fury’s deal to fight Oleksandr Usyk. 

The winner of the first fight between Fury and Usyk has been ordered by the sanctioning body to defend against Croatian Hrgovic, the current IBF mandatory challenger who holds a 16-0 record. 

But the rematch clause between Fury and Usyk means Hrgovic will have to fight the next best ranked contender for the IBF world title, which is AJ after his knockout win over Robert Helenius. 

Meanwhile, Wallin would also be a formidable opponent, having only ever lost to Fury back in September 2019. 

Hearn previously suggested that AJ and Fury could make over £100m each if they agree to take on each other in a Battle of Britain clash. 

But Fury told Mail Sport he had no interest in fighting AJ. He said:  ‘I don’t really care what he says. He’s a bum in my opinion. He’s just one big bum-dosser that has been knocked out three times. 

‘He’s been knocked out twice and had three losses. He can’t even compare in my league anymore. It’s not even a fight I am thinking about anymore. I’m not even interested. That bubble has been burst.’ 

Unbeaten Croatian fighter Filip Hrgovic is the current IBF mandatory challenger

Joshua has restarted his career with wins this year over Jermain Franklin and Robert Helenius

Tyson Fury has no interest in fighting AJ, despite the potential of a money-spinning bout 

Joshua has been looking to rebuild himself off the back of two damaging losses to Usyk in 2021 and again in 2022, which saw him lose his three world titles belts to the Ukrainian. 

Joshua beat Jermain Franklin on points in April before his stoppage of Helenius in August. 

Joshua has recently spent £2,000 for a four-day experience spent entirely alone in a pitch black room, which allows the 34-year-old to be alone with his thoughts. 

The retreat is a popular option for a number of sporting stars including NFL star Aaron Rodgers. 

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