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Anthony Joshua’ Plans: Dillian Whyte In August & Deontay Wilder In December

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By Jake Tiernan: Eddie Hearn says Anthony Joshua will not “deviate” from his plans to fight Dillian Whyte in August and Deontay Wilder in December after Tyson Fury suddenly showed interest in facing AJ this summer.

Hearn states that Joshua (25-3, 22 KOs) doesn’t want to lose out on the Wilder (43-2-1, 42 KOs) fight by going on what could be a mirage investing more time trying to put a fight together with the WBC champion Fury.

Eddie points out that Fury has had three names floated in the past week for his next fight, making it difficult to take him seriously.

One day it’s Demsey McKean, and then it’s Jon Jones. It’s a revolving door of names thrown out in scattergun fashion. In the end, Fury will likely wind up fighting another journeyman-level opponent, as we saw from him last year. The ambition that Fury once had seems to be gone at this point.

On the surface, the 35-year-old Whyte (29-3, 19 KOs) is a poor option for Joshua, but the British fans, especially the casuals, would like to see this fight, remembering Dillian when he was in his prime, still winning fights.

Given Fury’s unpredictable behavior when it comes to putting big fights together, it would be too risky for Joshua to invest any more additional time in attempting to set up a match with him.

Joshua won’t cancel plans

“No. No truth in that. He didn’t send the contract to us, 258
Anthony Joshua,” said Eddie Hearn to the DAZN Boxing Show when asked if Tyson Fury had sent a contract to him for a summer fight against Anthony Joshua.

The question is, why would Fury say a contract was sent out to Joshua when it wasn’t? Was Fury just trying to get attention from the media? Surely, he could think of other ways to get people talking about him.

“What happened was George Warren sent us an email to say, ‘Look, we’d like to talk about the fight in September,”  said Hearn. “Same terms as last time. We had some positive conversations. What do you think?’ Yeah, I called him straight up, and I said, ‘Look, we’re planning our fight in August, and we’re planning on fighting Deontay Wilder in December so I can’t. It’s very difficult for me.

“I spoke to AJ about it he said, “Isn’t he fighting Jayapatia or Dempsey
McKean or Jon Jones?’ He’s been fighting three guys in the last four
days. AJ said, ‘Look, I can’t put my trust in canceling my August and December fight to fight this guy in September when we just don’t know. Like do you trust him?’ I said, ‘Look, I know they would like to discuss the fight, so it’s my job to go through that process with George Warren and see the legitimacy of it,’” said Hearn.

Joshua would look silly if he canceled his plans for fighting Whyte in August and Wilder in December,  thinking that he had a chance of facing Fury next. The Fury fight is like the mythical pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. It’s not there.

“Obviously, we’ll see what happens in Saudi this week. They want the Deontay Wilder fight,” said Hearn. “AJ has got that in his head. It’s a huge fight, a huge money fight, and he’s got the fight in August, which will develop him ready for that fight with Derrick James.

So that’s our plan, and we’re not going to deviate from that plan on the basis of some Instagram hope, but it’s also my job to go through the process to see how real that opportunity is and if August and particularly the Deontay Wilder fight doesn’t materialize, absolutely he’ll fight Tyson Fury next.

Joshua-Whyte II in August

“Correct,” said Hearn when asked if August could be Dillian Whyte for Joshua.

“That’s what they want to do, but we’ve been told that our fight precedes whatever happens with Tyson, but we all know AJ against Wilder is a dream heavyweight matchup, one of the biggest in the sport,” said Hearn when asked if Joshua vs. Wilder fight is being planned as part of a huge card in December in Saudi, along with Fury vs. Oleksandr Usyk.

“Yeah, we’re up for that fight. We’re committed to those conversations; there have been conversations, and we’ll see, as I said, what happens with Saudi this week, but we obviously need a formal contract for that which they’re working on. That is our plan.

“Ideally, Dillian Whyte in August and Deontay Wilder in December. If there is an opportunity to do a Tyson Fury fight, and we have to scrap the other two, I’m sure that’ll be looked at as well. But it’s the confidence to move forward.

“We don’t want anything to get in the way of AJ’s plans. He’s in Camp now in Texas, training for his August fight,” said Hearn.

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