Anthony Joshua could unify three heavyweight belts with Joseph Parker next year
Joshua secured his 20th win with a 10th-round stoppage of Carlos Takam in Cardiff on Saturday night and his promoter Hearn outlined their plans for 2018.
The Matchroom Boxing man wants AJ to fight Parker, Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder with the aim of unifying the heavyweight division.
But Higgins, who promotes Parker and oversaw his UK debut – a majority decision win over Hughie Fury – in Manchester last month, believes Hearn is deliberately obstructing a Joshua-Parker showdown.
"We would fight Joshua next, but Eddie Hearn is killing it by only offering 20 per cent, which disrespects the fact that Parker has earned one of the genuine, recognised heavyweight titles,” Higgins told Sky Sports.
Joshua vs Takam: The moment the ref STOPS the fight
Sat, October 28, 2017
This is the moment the referee stopped Anthony Joshua’s stunning heavyweight fight with Carlos Takam
Action Images via Reuters
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Anthony Joshua's heavyweight title fight with Carlos Takam is stopped by the ref
"We think it's about more than money.
“It's the respect of having earned that title.
“If he really wants unification, give us a more respectable deal and we'll have a good look at it.
"But what Eddie has offered in the media, that won't happen.
Anthony Joshua and Eddie Hearn
“We believe that low ball offer is being used to avoid unification.
“If we get a deal we think is fair and respectful, then we'll unify and it could happen [as] soon [as March].”
Clearly disagreeing, Hearn said: “I’ve not made an offer to Joseph Parker, but if I was to offer 20 per cent, they should bite our hand off.”
But Higgins is determined to get Parker a fair deal, especially given that Joshua’s win over Takam was far from emphatic – Parker beat the Frenchman on points last year.
“We weren't overly impressed with Anthony Joshua, I have to say," Higgins added.
"Our team unanimously felt it got stopped early and to our minds, it should probably have gone the distance or would have, which means it was similar to Parker-Takam.
"I think Joshua appeared to be puffing a bit as the fight went on and was sort of a bit predictable.
“I would not call it a dominant performance.
"We think the jury's out on Joshua-Parker.
“It's got to be much closer to a 50-50 fight, if not in Joseph's favour."