Anthony Joshua's heavyweight clash with Tyson Fury could happen before the end of 2018, claims promoter Eddie Hearn.
With Fury on course to make a return back to action, the 'Gypsy King' has challenged Joshua again and again in an attempt to secure a blockbuster battle.
In a tweet, the 29-year-old openly laid down the gauntlet in front of his British compatriot.
He said in the post: "As a sporting challenge I Lay Down the challenge for @anthonyfjoshua to fight me in my first fight back in over 2.5 years! I'm the best heavyweight on the planet come prove I'm not? The ball is in your court don't let your fans down CHAMP👍🏼👊🏼 #wanttoseehowgoodiam."
Although, before such a context can be finalised, Joshua is expected to compete in two unification clashes against Joseph Parker and Deontay Wilder, with the deal for the former close to being.
That would suggest any potential clash vs Fury is more likely to place in 2019 but Joshua's promoter has confirmed they haven't completely ruled out facing the Gypsy King at some point over the next 11 months.
"I spoke to Tyson Fury this morning," Hearn told Sky Sports.
"He even got in contact with Anthony Joshua at the weekend, so we're all talking.
"Let me tell you, that's a fight that we would sit down now and make for 2018.
"I've already seen that he wants 60-40, Tyson Fury, which is not quite the idea that we have, but we are up for making the Tyson Fury fight.
"It won't be next, because we know what we're trying to do next. We're trying to clean up the division and win all the belts, but if it has to be the one after in the summer or have to be after that."
"We are prepared to sit down and make that fight now with Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua is as well, because he called me straight after Tyson was texting him the other day."
Fury is set to reapply for this boxing license with an aim to return to action by April.
Hearn wants Fury to first make a successful comeback to the sport before entering the ring with Joshua.
"Realistically, Tyson talks about getting in the ring in April, fighting Joshua. That's not going to happen," Hearn added.
"We can't base our career on a guy that still has what six or seven stone to lose and doesn't have a British Boxing Board of Control licence, that hasn't boxed for two years.
"We're desperate to see him back. We'll even give him a fight. It will be a massive return, but we are prepared to make the Tyson Fury fight for the summer or for the winter of 2018, unquestionably, but let's see him back."
The promoter might actually have a point here as Fury's last fight was in November of 2015 - where he defeated Wladimir Klitschko - while Joshua is arguably in the form of his life.
Hearn continued: "You do not want to go in the ring with Anthony Joshua, having been out of the sport for two-and-a-half years, especially in the physical condition he's in at the moment.
"Tyson Fury is a great fighter, it's a tough fight for Anthony Joshua, but it's one we want, it's the one the British public want, and we will make that fight."
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Source : http://www.givemesport.com/1234197-eddie-hearn-reveals-tyson-fury-has-been-in-contact-with-anthony-joshua-over-fight717