Anthony Joshua and Joseph Parker have made progress in talks for a unification clash, says Eddie Hearn

22 November 2017, 10:24

Anthony Joshua is "getting closer" to a heavyweight world title unification fight with Joseph Parker, says promoter Eddie Hearn.

WBO champion Parker has made a "final offer" of a 35-65 per cent split in favour of Joshua and his promoter Hearn suggested that progress has been made in negotiations about a possible fight early next year.

But the Matchroom boss aimed a verbal dig at David Higgins of Duco Events, who guides Parker's career, after the New Zealander's most recent press conference included a video montage of Joshua being hurt in past fights.

"You've got to love this David Higgins - he is absolutely off his swede," Hearn exclusively told Sky Sports.

"We are getting closer on a deal, but holding a press conference in a broom cupboard with a promotional video that looks like it's been done by my eight-year-old daughter is not the one, in terms of justifying your commercial value.

"Negotiations are ongoing and we are hoping a deal can be reached."

Higgins was quick to dismiss Hearn's criticism and instead told him to focus on reaching a deal for the fight with Joshua, who holds the WBA 'super' and IBF belts.

"If you actually watched the press conference, what we said was correct, serious, and pure fact," Higgins told Sky Sports.

"What Eddie should be worried about it is Joshua's chin, not our press conference. It's pathetic.

"Parker is unbeaten, he's a world champion, and he deserves 35 per cent. They will pay us 35 per cent and not one per cent less, or we'll take another fight, and we might lose, and they might fight [WBC champion Deontay] Wilder. So be the case.

"But I tell you this, Joseph Parker, his family, the trainer and me, we are united and we are adamant that's the deal. Let's make the fight."