Published On: Tue, Apr 16th, 2024

Eddie Hearn ending Deontay Wilder feud could offer Anthony Joshua hint | Boxing | Sport

Eddie Hearn and Deontay Wilder have buried the hatchet following the boxer’s surprise partnership with the promoter’s Matchroom Boxing. Wilder will face off against Zhilei Zhang on June 1 in Riyadh – with a possible fight against Anthony Joshua perhaps looming on the horizon.

On Monday, rival promoters Hearn and Frank Warren revealed the rosters for their highly anticipated five-versus-five card between Matchroom and Queensberry Promotions. The team battle will be featured on the undercard of the undisputed light-heavyweight contest between Dmitry Bivol and Artur Beterbiev.

A union between Hearn and Wilder – his team captain – took many people in the boxing world by surprise. The pair have often been at odds with one another over the last five years, with each publicly bashing the other on multiple occasions.

Their tumultuous relationship is largely due to disagreements surrounding a potential mega-fight between Wilder and Joshua. The “Bronze Bomber” has alleged in the past that Hearn is the reason for why the fight has not happened. The 44-year-old has repeatedly clapped back at the accusations, claiming Wilder is unserious about the bout and has never beaten a formidable opponent.

It appears as though Hearn has undergone a change of heart, as he praised Wilder during Monday’s press conference. “I think this man has long been one of the most dangerous punchers in the [heavyweight] division,” he said. “This was the obvious pick to make. Deontay Wilder against Zhilei Zhang is a massive, massive heavyweight fight between two punchers.

“We’ll see what the future holds, but for one night only, we work together,” he continued. “And I believe this man’s gonna make a real statement and get back on the heavyweight scene.”

Wilder expressed his own shock upon joining forces with Hearn, saying: “Nobody ever thought me and Eddie would be working together. This is the ultimate surprise. … It’s a shame that we can’t work together in the business of boxing. This is what it’s all about – the best fighting the best, the best promoter going against the best promoters.”

With Joshua and Wilder now fighting under the same banner, many fans speculated that a bout between the two heavyweights could be next in the works. The latter tempered expectations, however, labelling his upcoming match versus Zhang as his last.

“I am quoting this fight as my last dance, my last chance. That’s what I am taking it accordingly as,” Wilder said. “I am ready to do what I am known to do. Be the Wilder I am. I lost my love for this business and I lost my hunger for so many different reasons. But now I am dealing with people who love the craziness and the wildness of Wilder.

“I’m not playing around this time. I have nothing to lose,” he later said. “I feel like I’ve lost so much already. I only have things to gain and this fight is going to tell. This fight we are going to see.”

It remains to be seen if a win on June 1 will reinvigorate Wilder’s love for boxing.

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