Eddie Hearn, promoter for IBF, IBO, WBA heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua (20-0, 20 KOs), says his boxer could have taken an easier fight for the first quarter of 2018 – but he wants to unify the division.
Joshua is close to a finalized deal to unify his titles with WBO world champion Joseph Parker (24-0, 18 KOs) of New Zealand.
The fight would land on March 31, and Principality in Cardiff, Wales is reportedly the frontrunner to host the bout.
Joshua stands to make a large amount of money from the bout with Parker – but Hearn admits he could have made nearly the same amount by making a voluntary defense against an easier opponent.
“But he doesn’t want to do that. AJ wants to fight champions, he wants to be the unified champion. So this is the right fight for both of them,” Hearn said to Stuff.
By the time the fight happens, Joshua will be 28 and Parker will be 26.
Hearn believes both boxers have placed themselves in a position where neither one will see their career plummet from suffering a loss in this upcoming match.
The veteran promoter believes Parker is certainly sitting in a nice spot – because he’s going to make a tremendous amount of money – win or lose – but if he wins then he’s going to be the top dog in the weight division with four titles.
“You don’t really lose in a fight like this … it’s a unification for the world heavyweight titles,” Hearn said.
“You are going to be in the mix straight off the back of it. For AJ, he gets there a lot easier because he is a huge name and can draw huge money to make fights. Parker is a little bit different but I also think that he could come back.”
“If Joseph Parker wins he becomes probably the biggest thing in world boxing. If he doesn’t win he makes a lot of money but his profile has gone through the roof and he could come back and still be a force in the division.”