6/6/2018 12:05:04 AM

Wilder managers optimistic of Joshua bout this year

Wilder managers optimistic of Joshua bout this year

Los Angeles: Deontay Wilder's management team are optimistic of reaching agreement to seal a heavyweight unification bout against Anthony Joshua later this year, ESPN reported on Tuesday.

Shelly Finkel, one of Wilder's co-managers, told ESPN that negotiations with Joshua's camp are ongoing, with the possibility of a fight held towards the end of the year.

Finkel told ESPN that WBC heavyweight champion Wilder was willing to travel to Britain to take on WBA, IBF and WBO champion Joshua if necessary.

Finkel said he had held talks last week with veteran fight promoter, Barry Hearn, whose son Eddie promotes Joshua. 

"I met with Eddie's father, Barry, this past Friday in New York and it was a good meeting," Finkel said. "I'm hopeful that they will get back to me this week and that something can be done to make the fight in the fall. I'm optimistic."

Finkel said fighting in Britain was "not an impediment on our side."

"There are still some roads to cross but hopefully it will happen and we'll see the fight this year," Finkel told ESPN.

"If we're going to make the fight, the place where it will take place isn't going to be the problem. We have no problem going to the UK It never was a problem. Deontay has never had a problem with that."

Meanwhile Barry Hearn told ESPN a deal for any Joshua fight would need to be sealed quickly.

"They've got to make a decision realistically in the next few days," he said. "I think both of them want to fight each other, but there's obviously hurdles to come over. 

"Is Wembley [Stadium] available? What's the American pay-per-view situation for American broadcasters on a show in the U.K.? Is it the right time to fight Deontay Wilder? Fight's only going to get bigger. Fight fans will tell you, 'We must see it now!' Of course, they're not involved in the financials."

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