A fight between Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder is likely to happen in 2018, according to 'AJ's' promoter Eddie Hearn, who thinks both fighters have shown signs of "vulnerability" in recent fights.

Wilder, fresh off the back of defending his WBC heavyweight title against Luis Ortiz, who threatened to cause a major upset at The Brooklyn Centre on Saturday (3 March), recently insisted he is ready to fight Joshua and fulfil his dream of unifying the heavyweight division, an achievement not managed since Lennox Lewis beat Evander Holyfield back in 1999.

Joshua, currently preparing for a world unification bout of his own against WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker at the end of the month, is more than willing to fight Wilder if he manages to do away with the Pacific Islander in Cardiff according to Hearn, who recently urged Wilder to call him and arrange a meeting between him and his prized heavyweight.

Wilder and Joshua are the two pin-ups of the heavyweight division in its current climate, but Hearn believes the esteemed duo have displayed signs of weakness in recent fights. Joshua was wobbled by Wladimir Klitschko before rousing himself to secure an iconic victory last year, while Wilder had to overcome a few scares to retain his WBC belt against Ortiz last weekend

But despite their apparent foibles, Hearn is keen to sate supporters' desire to see Joshua and Wilder in a ring together and is confident of scheduling a bout before the end of 2018.

"It's the biggest fight in world boxing," Hearn said on BBC Radio Five Live, relayed by BoxingScene. "He has the biggest test of his career against Parker but if he wins it Anthony wants to fight Wilder. He thinks he can beat him and Wilder is beatable, but Wilder is also very dangerous.

"Both Wilder and Joshua are electric to watch, both punch very hard and both have shown signs of vulnerability. You have to give the fans what they want, otherwise over time they lose interest. I think it will happen in 2018. I don't think there is any holding AJ back."

Anthony Joshua and Eddie Hearn
Hearn is eager to arrange a fight between Wilder and Joshua Getty Images