Unified heavyweight titleholder Anthony Joshua and fellow heavyweight world titlist Deontay Wilder could be inching closer to proving who is the better man once and for all.
Matchroom Sport's Eddie Hearn, Joshua's promoter, told The Daily Star Tuesday that he is meeting with Wilder's representatives next week in New York to negotiate a deal for the undisputed heavyweight championship of the world.
Wilder promoter Lou DiBella would not confirm the validity of the planned meeting to FightNights.com, but did not deny it, either.
Hearn will be in New York next week to promote Daniel Jacobs vs. Maciej Sulecki, a 12-round, non-title bout to be held at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York on Saturday, April 28.
“I’m actually going to New York next week for the Jacobs fight and Katie Taylor, so I’m going to sit down with them in New York next week,” Hearn said.
As first reported by FightNights.com, Wilder (40-0, 39 KO's) rejected a flat fee of $12.5 million last week to take on Joshua (21-0, 20 KO's).
Sources with knowledge of the situation reported exclusively to FightNights.com last week that Wilder's team was insulted by the "bogus" offer, and had "nothing to say."
DiBella also did not confirm the existence of the offer, but did not refute it.
Sources also tell FightNights.com that if a deal is struck, Joshua, a three-belt titleholder (four if you count IBO) and Wilder, the WBC titlist, could settle their beef as early as September 15 at Wembley Stadium. But sources close to Wilder question whether Hearn is serious about making the fight a reality.
Furthermore, Hearn has also warned that such negotiations will have to happen quick, because purse bids are soon due for Joshua to face WBA "Regular" heavyweight champion Alexander Povetkin, who is coming off a brutal fifth-round knockout of David Price in March.
It is also rumored that Joshua could face rising American prospect Jarrell Miller (20-0-1, 18 KO's) in August.
Miller will return to the ring on HBO on the co-main event of Jacobs-Sulecki, when he faces the resilient Johann Duhaupas.
Joshua won a third heavyweight title belt with his victory over former titleholder Joseph Parker on March 31 in Cardiff, but his 100 percent knockout record was snapped, going the distance for the first time in his professional career. The bout did have its moments, but it was more of a tactical affair.
Joshua-Parker had a peak audience of 379,000, while Wilder's last fight on March 3, an exhilarating 10th-round knockout of former interim titlist Luis Ortiz, had a peak audience of 1.2 million viewers. However, as far as live audience is concerned, the advantage belongs to Joshua. Over his last three fights, the 2012 Olympic gold medalist has averaged around 82,000 tickets sold.