NEW YORK -- Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn certainly enjoys holding court with writers, and he did just that Friday afternoon following the Canelo Alvarez-Rocky Fielding weigh-in.
England's Hearn outlined plans for his U.S. cards for the first quarter of 2019 and offered updates on other fights he hopes to make, including an undisputed heavyweight world title bout between the fighter he promotes, Anthony Joshua, and Deontay Wilder; a long-anticipated British rivalry fight between Kell Brook and Amir Khan; and a mandatory fight between unified lightweight world champion and pound-for-pound king Vasiliy Lomachenko and the Hearn-promoted former titlist Anthony Crolla, one of Lomachenko's mandatory challengers.
Talks for Joshua-Wilder have gone back and forth for much of the year but cooled during the lead-up to Wilder's epic draw with lineal champion Tyson Fury on Dec 1. Now that the fight is over, Hearn said he is still hopeful of making a deal for Joshua-Wilder for April 13, the date Joshua is penciled in for next.
"You can't just assume the rematch will happen because you don't know the deal the guys are going to want," Hearn said of the possible Wilder-Fury sequel both have said they want. "A lot depends on how much value Wilder puts on being undisputed. He's always said one name, one face, one champion. He's got a chance to do that. Ultimately, it's down to Wilder. He said we're begging [for the fight]. We are. We really want to make it bad."
Hearn said while past offers to Wilder were for him to fight in England for a flat fee of $15 million with only Joshua having a rematch clause in the event he loses, he said they are willing to do a percentage deal as well as a two-way rematch clause and might even consider facing him in the United States for the first fight.
"We really want the fight in the U.K., but what we've said this time around is we're willing to do two fights, one in the U.K. and one in the U.S.," Hearn said. "If they say the first fight has to be in the U.S., Joshua has a decision to make on whether he wants to do that or not. We may be open to [the first fight being in the U.S.]."
They would still have to iron out the broadcaster. Hearn has a long-term deal with streaming service DAZN, though Joshua doesn't necessarily have to fight on that platform, and Wilder has been supported by Showtime. Hearn said "it comes down to who pays the most money." DAZN would put up an enormous license fee, while Showtime would do the fight as a traditional pay-per-view.
Hearn added that if a deal can't be made for the fight and Dillian Whyte, also in the running if there's no Wilder fight, either loses or is injured in his Dec. 22 rematch with Dereck Chisora, there is a chance Joshua would have his next fight at Madison Square Garden in the spring against New York contender Jarrell "Big Baby" Miller.
"Miller's legit, he's a great talker, and he's no stroll in the park," Hearn said. "The buildup for that fight would be huge. Joshua would bring 12,000 to 15,000 [from the U.K.] for that fight. It would sell out MSG. It would be massive."
Hearn is planning a Jan. 18 DAZN card at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden on which Miller could fight. Also pegged for the show is middleweight titlist Demetrius Andrade's first defense against Artur Akavov in the main event as well as possible appearances by former three-division titlist Jorge Linares, former junior welterweight titlist Chris Algieri and women's star Amanda Serrano, who could challenge for a junior bantamweight world title in an effort to claim a belt in a women's record seventh weight division.
In putting Algieri and Linares on the card, Hearn is trying to line up future challengers for junior welterweight world titlist Maurice Hooker, whom he co-promotes with Roc Nation Sports.
Algieri returned from a 2½-year layoff for a win last month, and if Hearn, who works closely with Algieri promoter Joe DeGuardia of Star Boxing, has his way, Algieri will box Jan. 18 and then fight Hooker in late February or March.
If Hooker were to defeat Algieri, Hearn would like to schedule Hooker-Linares for May or June. Hearn is also doing more and more business with Linares promoter Golden Boy since they both have deals with DAZN.
Another card is in the works for Feb. 22 or Feb. 23, probably at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on New York's Long Island, on which light heavyweight titlist Artur Beterbiev likely will defend against Long Island contender Joe Smith Jr. Algieri is also a popular draw from Long Island, and the proposed fight with Hooker could be on that show, Hearn said.
"He's a road warrior," Hearn said of Hooker, who would be boxing in his opponent's hometown for the third time in a row, including his title win in England against Terry Flanagan and his first defense in Oklahoma City against Alex Saucedo last month.
"Then we will take him home to Dallas," Hearn said.
If junior lightweight titlist Tevin Farmer retains his belt against Francisco Fonseca on Saturday night's Canelo Alvarez-Rocky Fielding undercard at MSG, Hearn, also Fielding's promoter, said he would bring Farmer home to Philadelphia for a defense on March 16, possibly against Ireland's Jono Carroll on St. Patrick's Day weekend.
If unified women's lightweight titlist Katie Taylor, of Ireland, wins her defense on the Canelo-Fielding card, she also could appear on the proposed Farmer card in a unification fight with Yolis Marrugo Franco, Hearn said.
Hearn has been trying to nail down a welterweight fight between stars Khan and Brook for ages, and is close, but a new wrinkle is an offer to Khan to challenge world titlist Terence Crawford in March. Hearn said he is unsure if he will be able to get Khan-Brook done.
"Brook and Khan are petrified of losing to each other, especially Khan," Hearn said. "His legacy in Britain would be, 'You lost to Kell Brook, not you beat [Marcos] Maidana or you unified titles [at junior welterweight]. There's a lot on the line personally in that fight."
Crolla outpointed Daud Yordan on Nov. 10 to become one of Lomachenko's mandatory challengers. Lomachenko promoter Top Rank is planning Lomachenko's next fight for April 12 and hopes to match him in a unification bout with the winner of a vacant title bout between Richard Commey and Isa Chaniev that is ticketed for Feb. 2.
However, Hearn said of a Crolla fight that Top Rank "better start taking that seriously." Hearn said he made "a massive offer" to Top Rank's Bob Arum and Lomachenko manager Egis Klimas that would be double Lomachenko's career-high purse and that he would do the fight in the U.S. He said he has not gotten a reply.
"The negotiation period is up in two weeks, and then the WBA will order purse bids," Hearn said. "It's going to be very interesting."
Hearn said if Top Rank "makes a fair deal" he would be willing to bring Crolla from DAZN to Top Rank broadcast partner ESPN for the bout.