Eddie Hearn confirms that the fight between IBF, IBO and WBA champion Anthony Joshua and WBO holder Joseph Parker is very close.
Hearn also indicated that the New Zealander will not be able to handle the pressure which is a strong indication that the fight will be in the UK & not Saudi Arabia or Nigeria as being mentioned. When Hearn talks about pressure surely he means fighting AJ and the weight of the home crowd?
Talking with a local English newspaper Hearn said: “Can Parker deal with the pressure? That’s only something we will find out on the night,”
“He will never have or never will experience anything like this.”
“Only the special fighters are capable of experiencing it and rising above it and actually performing.”
“I don’t think Parker will crumble but will he lose his head? Quite possibly.
“If he doesn’t and he can execute his game plan, then he may be a very special talent.”
“I think Parker is a lot better fighter than he has looked in his last couple of fights, everybody in boxing knows that.”
“But can he execute that performance under this sort of pressure?That’s what everybody’s asking, because we know AJ can.”
Eddie Hearn also wanted to cleared up his reason for including a rematch clause in the contract;
“A rematch isn’t for [Joshua’s] protection.”
“If he wins, he’s going to make an absolute fortune in the rematch. If it’s a good fight and Joe loses, we’ll do it again no problems.”
“It’s a carrot to show [Parker] what’s possible – it’s an incentive to get him to take the fight.”
“If he beats AJ, then the first fight he will want after is a rematch because it’s the biggest fight in boxing. If he does win he’s also going to be the biggest star in the sport,”
Joshua told the BBC: “Negotiations are tough, but, in terms of the love of the sport, I won’t let that get in the way from achieving my goal because legacy is important to me and I think we’re achieving something,”
“To hold all the belts has never been done before, so I won’t let negotiations get in the way of securing my legacy and what I could achieve in the sport.
“I think we’re 95 per cent of the way there with completing with Joseph Parker.”
The WBA have now made Alexander Povetkin it’s mandatory challenger after his recent win over Christian Hammer.
I know this my not come as a shock to anyone but I think this will definitely throw a spanner in the works for any potential rematch being discussed or any other big fights in the summer. Especially if Joshua is keen on collecting all the world heavyweight belts.
This is why I think AJ needs to forget about unifying the division and give the fans what we want and that’s Wilder or Fury. He talks legacy, well he needs to push the big fights not concentrate on the belts, if anything he should ditch the dam WBA belt!
The WBA is a joke! A good example of their money grabbing antics and their complete and utter ignorance to us as boxing fans is, since 2011 when the WBA decided to recognise two world champions instead of one, the WBA have made sh*t loads more dosh in sanctioning fees, hence why they will never have one champion. Just look at their top 15:
- Alexander Povetkin (Multiple drug cheat)
- Fred Oquendo (Hasn’t fought since a 2014 defeat to Chagaev)
- Jarrell Miller
- Kubrat Pulev
- Trevor Bryan (Hasn’t fought since July 2016)
- Christian Hammer
- Dillian Whyte
- Alexander Ustinov (41-years-old)
- BJ Flores (Beat a 39 & 43-year-old in his last 2 fights)
- Guillermo Jones (Another drug cheat at age 45)
- Otto Wallin
- Bryant Jennings
- Lucas Browne (Drug cheat)
- Johann Duhaupas
- Kyotaro Fujimoto