Joshua has won all 20 of his professional fights by knockout but he recognises the durability, skill and commitment in his opponent from South Auckland.
"Ultimately the grand prize of Joshua because that is a huge fight". After that, the door is wide open for the two to finally get this deal done.
There were four film crews wanting interviews at the airport when he arrived in London for the fight announcement in January - and that was before the potential stress of a major press conference and long wait and face-to-face with Joshua at Sky TV's studios.
There will be no love in the air come March 31 - it may be spring in the northern hemisphere, but in the world of boxing, strap season is in full swing.
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And Hearn has insisted that a shock union between himself and the former heavyweight champion would help set up the British super-fight. Wilder's last two fights saw him knock out Bermane Stiverne and Luis Ortiz at the Barclays Center while Joshua retained his WBA and IBF titles against Carlos Takam in Cardiff, Wales in a record-breaking crowd.
But - as Fury nears his ring return - he has been linked with a move to Hearn's exciting stable of fighters that are given primetime shows on Sky Sports.
Hearn does not see any sport of urgency for Joshua to fight in the United States, but he'd like to see his boxer invade other big boxing markets. Eddie keeps saying I can see the fight happening this year.
"There might be areas of the fight where Parker outboxes and maybe out-speeds him and out-works him".