Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn is confident IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua will face Wladimir Klitschko rather than Joseph Parker on 26 November. The managing director of Matchroom Sport is pursuing a fight against the 40-year-old Ukrainian, whose immediate future has been left in doubt after a much-anticipated rematch against Tyson Fury was recently cancelled.
Hearn, 37, has previously talked up the prospect of Joshua facing the unbeaten Kiwi. But the influential promoter has revealed that the Klitschko fight has now become the more likely prospect, admitting both parties are keen to reach an agreement.
Asked about the possibility of Joshua facing Klitschko, Hearn told Sky Sports: "Percentage wise, I think it's 60-40 yes, something like that. Klitschko wants the fight, AJ wants the fight. That's always a great sign.
"For Klitschko, sometimes it's not necessarily about the money. It's little things of principle. He's made plenty of money and half a million to him doesn't mean a row of beans but something in the contract might be very important to him away from home."
Although Joshua is a world champion, it has been suggested the Klitschko fight may have come too soon in his 17-fight career. But Hearn has confidence in his charge, saying Joshua faced similar scepticism when he beat American Charles Martin for the IBF crown earlier this year.
"I'm confident and I think it's the fight to make," Hearn shared. "Boxing is all about timing. Charles Martin came up and it was before our time. Now we've got Klitschko before Joshua's time. It's one or two fights before the plan but it's here and available.
"I always say to Joshua: 'You'll tell me. If you can beat Klitschko then we've got to take the fight.' He says to make the fight. He's so relaxed and will fight anyone. It's a huge fight and it's going to be the biggest fight in British boxing history, I think."