The camp of Nigerian-born British boxing heavyweight champion of the world, Anthony Olaseni Oluwafemi Joshua has stepped up plans to get an opponent for him on April 13 in London.
Joshua’s promoter, Eddie Hearn is jocular over the prolonged search for an opponent, but says they will soon get it sorted and then make a formal pronouncement to that effect.
Hearn stressed that the only reason why ‘AJ’ is yet to get an opponent is because all the biog name fighters are scared of stepping into the ring with him, but says anyone is free to come forward win confidence.
Consequently, Joshua’s team have put a 10-day deadline on their search for his next opponent, but the chances of him getting a Deontay Wilder showdown are fading fast, after talks broke down again.
Wilder has always been Joshua’s number one preference for an April 13 fight at Wembley, despite likelihood that the WBC champion would face Tyson Fury in a rematch or mandatory challenger, Dominic Breazeale.
There had been hope that the American might be swayed, but Joshua’s promoter said reent e-mails 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.
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 difference between fighters wanting to face Joshua and 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 titles.
“If you think you can beat him, our message is simple: come and get it. Who really wants it? This is your chance.”