Promoter Eddie Hearn hopes to be able to make a deal for a unification fight between heavyweight champions Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder when he is in New York next week.
Hearn is waiting to hear back from WBC champion Wilder over a showdown with British fighter Joshua, who holds the IBF, WBA and WBO titles.
It is hoped, though, a deal – with a reported fee of some 12.5million US dollars (£8.8million) said to be on the table – can be thrashed out to get both heavyweights into the ring sooner rather than later.
“We made an offer last week. We haven’t heard from them yet. There’s been a bit of talking behind the scenes,” Hearn said on Sky Sports News.
“We are in New York next week for the Danny Jacobs fight and Katie Taylor unification. I’m going to look to meet up with them in New York, get face to face with them, look into the whites of their eyes, and just see if we can make a deal.
“We have made an offer that we feel is substantial, if not we’re happy to talk about the numbers and look at their ideas as well.”
Joshua has been told by the WBA he must put his ‘super’ belt on the line against contender Alexander Povetkin. Hearn admitted that situation had made on-going negotiations with the American’s camp more complicated.
“Anthony’s made it clear – that’s the fight he wants next, the Deontay Wilder fight,” Hearn added.
“With these mandatories coming up as well, Povetkin, and the possible IBF mandatory, I’ve said before there’s not many opportunities to make an undisputed fight. Really the focus is for us to make the Deontay Wilder fight next.
“If not, it has to be the one after, and we’ll have to deal with a mandatory in the meantime. It could be Alexander Povetkin.
“Generally from AJ’s side, from our side, from the team’s side, the Wilder fight is one we have no problems with at all.
“We’ve just got to find the right deal and we’ll be trying to do that next week in New York.”
The veteran US ring guru Roach said last week that his 15-year association with Pacquiao, who has won world titles in an unprecedented eight weight divisions, had been terminated ahead of the Matthysse bout in Malaysia.
“I would be lying if I didn’t say I wasn’t hurt that he didn’t contact me personally about his decision, but the great times we enjoyed together far outweigh that,” Roach said in a brief statement on Friday.
But Pacquiao went on social media on Monday to say that he would make a decision later this week on his corner team for the Kuala Lumpur fight with the Argentine World Boxing Association welterweight champion.
“Contrary to statements which I personally did not make that are circulating in the media, I have not made my final decision who will be my head trainer for my July 14 (US time zone) fight with Matthysse,” he said.
Pacquiao – who has a record of 59 wins with 38 KOs, seven losses and two draws – told millions of followers on his official Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts that his adviser Mike Koncz “has been in contact with Freddie (Roach)’s people to keep them informed”.
— Manny Pacquiao (@mannypacquiao) April 15, 2018
“I will make a final decision within the week. When that decision is made, Freddie will be the first one to be informed and then I will advise the media,” the 39-year-old added.
Roach was ever-present in Pacquiao’s corner during his rise to the pinnacle of the sport, helping mould the fighter into one of the best boxers in history.
Pacquiao has not fought since being defeated on points by Australia’s Jeff Horn in Brisbane last July, a loss that cost the Filipino star his World Boxing Organization welterweight crown.
Matthysse, who has 39 wins including 36 KOs against four defeats, won the vacant WBA belt after beating Thailand’s Teerachai Sithmorseng in January.
Former heavyweight world boxing champion Tyson Fury is to make his comeback for a first fight in two-and-a-half years in Manchester on June 9 with his opponent still to be named, promoter Frank Warren announced on Thursday.
The 29-year-old Briton — who has not fought since his shock win against Wladimir Klitschko in November 2015 to become the then undisputed heavyweight world champion — was cleared to fight again in December by UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) after accepting a backdated two-year ban for testing positive for the banned steroid Nandrolone.
“I can’t wait to get in there and prove I am the best, even after all this time out,” said Fury.
Fury and his cousin and fellow heavyweight Hughie Fury, 23, tested positive in February 2015. However, they were not charged by UKAD until June 2016, by which time Fury had beaten Klitschko.
Both fighters blamed the result on eating wild boar.
A rematch with Klitschko was scheduled for July 2016 but Fury postponed the fight, citing a sprained ankle, on the same day the UKAD charge was announced.
Fury also failed a test for cocaine in September 2016 and later admitted using the recreational drug to deal with depression related to his injury and UKAD problems.
He has previously laid down a challenge to compatriot Anthony Joshua, who unified the WBO, IBF and WBA titles against New Zealand’s Joseph Parker in Cardiff last month.
However, Fury will have to wait for his shot at Joshua, who is targeting a blockbuster unification bout with fellow unbeaten world champion Deontay Wilder, who holds the WBC heavyweight belt.
Fury said he believes Wilder is “top of the pile” of the current crop of heavyweights but insisted “they’re all very vulnerable and very beatable too”.
Warren, though, believes Fury needs “three or four fights” before being ready to take on Joshua.
“He’s going to be busy. He needs to get some rounds under his belt,” Warren said.
“He needs to get himself fighting fit. He’s fit but he needs to be fighting fit.”
Provided by AFP