I'm really, really, really interested - Joshua expects Wilder fight to happen in 2018

Anthony Joshua is "95 per cent" certain a unification heavyweight showdown with Deontay Wilder will happen before the end of the year.

The two heavyweights hold all the major belts between them but, despite talks taking place over a money-spinning bout, a deal is yet to be finalised.

WBC champion Wilder posted a video offering his rival $50million to face him, though Eddie Hearn - Joshua's promoter - branded the proposal as nothing more than a "PR move", albeit he did accept it should still be taken seriously.

Speaking after Tony Bellew's victory over David Haye at the O2 Arena in London on Saturday, Joshua declared himself optimistic about the negotiation process, despite a disagreement over the location for the fight.

"The fight is going to happen, 95 per cent this year," the IBF, WBA and WBO holder told Sky Sports Box Office.

"I'm really, really, really interested.

"You can't talk about finances anymore because I'm well aware there is financial gain in this fight. So, let's put that aside and look at the devil in the detail.

"You can't just offer me a buy-out clause. I'm not here to sell my belts, let you take control of the event - that's not what I'm about.

"Let's build this fight to its true potential. I want the fight in the UK and they want it in America.

"We've got a long time to finalise it, because it will [potentially happen at the end of the year]. We're working tirelessly on it."


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