12 Dec 2017

Joshua camp prepared to 'overpay' Joseph Parker

1:41 pm on 12 December 2017

The promoter for British heavyweight boxing world champion Anthony Joshua has conceded they are likely to make the necessary compromises to lock in a unification fight with New Zealand's Joseph Parker.

Anthony Joshua promoter Eddie Hearn.

Anthony Joshua promoter Eddie Hearn. Photo: Photosport

The respective camps have been in talks for several weeks about a meeting next year between the IBF and WBA champion Joshua and the WBO title holder Parker.

Negotiations had stalled over the purse split for the bout but Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn told Sky Sports UK they acknowledged they could not have it all their own way if Joshua is to become the unified champ of the division.

"He is the golden ticket fight, the 'Willy Wonka' golden ticket fight that everybody wants and unfortunately for him, it's going to mean sometimes taking a deal that isn't right.

"My job is to represent Anthony Joshua and to deliver the deals that are right.

"We're not just going to roll over and let them tickle our belly and give everything away, but we ultimately understand that we're going to have to overpay Joseph Parker to get that unification fight.

"We need these belts, there is no secret, and they know that as well.

Joseph Parker.

Joseph Parker. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Hearn confirmed March at the 78,000-capacity Principality Stadium in Cardiff was most likely for the fight.

Duco boss David Higgins had also suggested the Nou Camp, which is home to football giants Barcelona.

While he indicated that and some other left-field venues probably wouldn't get the nod, Hearn did confirm the clash could be a done deal within two weeks.

A bout with Parker was currently much more within reach than a potential bout with American WBC champ Deontay Wilder, Hearn added.

"The Wilder fight is in dreamland at the moment, with his demands. The Parker fight is very close.

"Hopefully, we can get that over the line before Christmas, pick up the WBO title in March, and then move on for the big one against Wilder for all the belts on the line.

"Our plan is to go and pick up another belt, have three belts going into that fight against Wilder's one, clean him out, and then have it all, be the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world."

Anthony Joshua, 2014.

Anthony Joshua, 2014. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Hearn also conceded Duco had used smart tactics in their attempts to get the fight over the line.

Duco have come in for criticism from some for continually claiming Joshua can't take a punch and even releasing a video montage of Joshua being floored or hurt in the ring.

Hearn said the moves being made by Parker and WBC champion Deontay Wilder but questioned their motives.

"A lot of the time they're using Anthony Joshua's name to create the buzz and profile. I don't blame them, I'd do the same thing.

"But really do they want to get in there and mix it with him, do they want to trade with him. I'm not so sure.

"Hopefully it's Parker next, hopefully Wilder gets realistic and we can get that done in 2018 as well."