LONDON -- Eddie Hearn has revealed to ESPN that a deal for Anthony Joshua to face Deontay Wilder is within a month of being made, but warned that contracts are even closer to being exchanged for a fight with Alexander Povetkin.
Joshua (21-0, 20KOs) is hoping to become the first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis in 1999 by fighting Deontay Wilder in the UK later this year, but stumbling blocks in negotiations mean that he may have to fulfill his mandatory commitments and fight Alexander Povetkin first instead.
"A deal with Povetkin is close. Very close," Hearn said. "It's either going to be Wilder then Povetkin or Povetkin then Wilder.
"I believe that a deal will be done within the next month or so for Joshua to fight Wilder, it's just a case of whether we jump in with Povetkin first."
Hearn also pulled no punches when discussing Tyson Fury's upcoming comeback fight against Safer Seferi.
Fury is signed to Frank Warren's rival stable, and Hearn believes that neither Fury nor Warren want to put him back into big fights anytime soon.
"It's a joke of a fight, he's been out for two years and he's entitled to a freebie, but he wants three or four fights like that. I hope he doesn't because we all want to see him back in the big fights."
"I've got three opponents for him: Tony Bellew, Dillian Whyte and Anthony Joshua, and we are ready for him when he is.
"He's a quality heavyweight but he doesn't really want to fight anybody yet."
Hearn was speaking at the announcement of the July 28 contest between Dillian Whyte and Joseph Parker, a fight that he revealed only came this week and was agreed over the course of Monday and Tuesday.
He believes that a stoppage win for Whyte makes a rematch with Joshua a "dead cert".
"It's a real surprise and a shock that they both took this fight. I think they are both a little bit mad for taking the fight but I respect them because both guys are hugely ranked.
"Joseph Parker is coming of one of the biggest fights in heavyweight history - a loss but the first guy to take Anthony Joshua the distance. Dillian Whyte is ranked top by the WBC - top three or four with everyone else - but they just want to fight. They want to entertain and they want to gamble.
"I am so pleased for Dillian Whyte that he gets this opportunity and gets this platform because he's done everything that has been asked of him."