Eddie Hearn says Anthony Joshua vs Joseph Parker is ‘close’ but not done yet.

By Neel Khagram
4th January 2018

Eddie Hearn believes that a unification bout between Anthony Joshua and Joseph Parker “is the perfect fight for everybody”, but admits that a final deal is yet to be struck.

Both fighters last fought in September and October respectively, with the New Zealander defending his WBO strap on points against Hughie Fury in Manchester, whilst ‘AJ’ stopped Carlos Takam in Cardiff to retain his IBF and WBA (super) belts.

Negotiations about a potential contest have taken place since, and Hearn says that he is confident that an agreement will be reached.

“It could be a very different answer [in a few days] because now the hard work really begins,” Hearn told stuff.co.nz.

“This is where everybody stays calm, keeps their head, applies common sense and just acts in the best interest of the fighters and the best boxers.

"It has been a long process but it is the perfect fight for everybody. I feel it's a fight that deep down everybody wants so generally when that happens, as long as everybody is sensible, you'll get there in the end.

“We're close, we're not over the line, the full contract is still to be finalised but I'd like to think that we will be in a position to move forward."

Parker was mandated by the IBF governing body to face Joshua in 2016, but chose to fight Andy Ruiz Jr for the vacant WBO crown instead – a contest which he won on points to become his country’s first heavyweight champion.

Joshua added the WBA (super) title during this period after his sensational 11th-round knockout victory over Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley Stadium last April, and Hearn feels the timing to face the Kiwi is better now than before, with multiple world titles up for grabs on the night.

"I think that was probably the right decision at the time [for Parker], certainly a lot easier," he said.

"And now we are here on the cusp of a unification fight with three belts on the line and one of the biggest fights in world boxing, certainly one of the most important fights in world boxing.

"Joseph Parker is going to make a lot of money and so is Anthony Joshua. But more than that, they are going to get a chance to unify the division."

Okolie vs Chamberlain: Ted Cheeseman ready to impress against Carson Jones on O2 undercard

By Neel Khagram 
12th January 2018

Ted Cheeseman says Carson Jones is the “perfect” opponent next in his career.

The undefeated 22-year-old registered five victories last year and believes victory over the experienced American on the Okolie- Chamberlain undercard, at London’s O2 Arena on February 3, live on Sky Sports, will elevate him into bigger fights in the future.

“It is perfect for me,” Cheeseman said to South London Press and Mercury.

 “If I put in a good performance it is going to boost my career so much, it will put me on the world and international scene.

“When [trainer] Tony [Sims] texted me his name I told him that would be a good fight. He wanted to go and have a look at a few videos and then came back and said we’ll have it.

“All training camps are hard. This one will have a little bit more spite in my head because if I win this it is going to open the door to some massive fights.”

Jones is well known to British fans having fought in the UK five times in his 55-fight career, including a narrow points defeat to Kell Brook in 2012. He has also registered victories over Brian Rose and Ben Hall in 2015 and 2016 respectively.

The Oklahoma veteran still harbours hopes of competing at world-level and produced an impressive display against former world champion Antonio Margarito in September, despite suffering a technical decision loss.

Cheeseman feels such performances proves the dangers of his opponent, but is confident of victory if he prepares correctly.   

“Jones is fit, strong and knows all the tricks,” he said.

“Even in his last one against Antonio Margarito he was coming on strong and Margarito wanted to pull out because of a cut – it went to the scorecards rather than him being stopped.

“He is 31 and I feel the time is right for me. As long as I turn up on the night and perform then I get the win 10 times out of 10. I need to make weight right.”

Deontay Wilder predicts knockout victory over Luis Ortiz if they fight next

By Neel Khagram
20th December 2017

Deontay Wilder believes he will knockout Luis Ortiz in four rounds if they meet next.

The ‘Bronze Bomber’ was scheduled to defend his WBC heavyweight crown against the Cuban on November 4, in New York, but the challenger was forced to withdraw due to a failed drugs test.

Wilder dismantled stand-in replacement Bermane Stiverne in one round at the Barclays Center on the same night, and is now hopeful that a fight with Ortiz can be made having been ringside to see the 38-year-old return and stop Daniel Martz last week.

“I don’t want no excuses when I beat him. So, I asked Ortiz when he wanted to fight, and he said he’s ready now,” Wilder said to Premier Boxing Champions.

“So I’m definitely going to pursue this fight, trying to get him to sign and be in the ring.

"I think I’ll get him in four rounds.”

Wilder has also voiced his desire to fight WBA ‘super’ and IBF champion Anthony Joshua, who successfully defended his titles against Carlos Takam on October 28, at the Principality Stadium, Cardiff.

Promoter Eddie Hearn has publically stated that discussions have taken place about the contest, but as talks remain on-going, the Alabama heavyweight sees no reason why he should not seek the challenge of Ortiz, despite the southpaw’s troubles away from the ring.

“I’m staying on top of him as far as the drug testing,” he said. “I hope he’s not dumb enough to make the same mistake again.

“I didn’t see anything new, but I still think he’s one of the best in the world.

“He showed he’s back, and I’m glad he’s back. I want to give him another chance to make this fight.”