Hearn Closer to Confirming Joshua’s Opponent

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Promoter Eddie Hearn has revealed that talks were ongoing “with a number of fighters” as he edges closer to confirming a challenger for Anthony Joshua.

Joshua will make the second defence of his IBF heavyweight title at Manchester Arena on December 10 and Hearn has been assessing alternative opponents after a planned fight with Wladimir Klitschko was put back until next year.

American Eric Molina has suggested he could “finalise a deal” for the fight in the next 24 hours while David Price is also believed to be on the shortlist, but Hearn insists he is yet to make a final decision.

“We are in negotiations with a number of fighters regarding December 10 – announcement soon,” Hearn exclusively told Sky Sports. 

Molina revealed on Wednesday how he had been contacted about the fight and is confident that an agreement will soon be reached.

“Eddie Hearn has approached Don King, we’ve started the negotiations,” he told Sky Sports. “I’m pretty certain that we’ll be able to finalise a deal today and I should be in England by Monday. That’s what I’m looking at.

“The goal is to announce the fight before Friday and I’ve been getting ready every day, so we ain’t wasting no time and I’m hopeful to close the deal by the end of the day in USA time.”

The unbeaten Joshua will be trying to extend his destructive record to 18 straight knockouts, but Molina insists he will upset the odds if he is handed a shot at the IBF belt.

“All the things that people are going to say, I’ve read that before. There is nothing new,” said Molina, who has 19 stoppages in 25 wins, with just three defeats. 

“This is the heavyweight division and what makes it exciting is that it gives an opportunity to people that can punch like me to win any fight.”