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Hearn says Joshua-Wilder negotiations could be difficult

Anthony Joshua Deontay Wilder

By Scott Gilfoid: Promoter Eddie Hearn wants Deontay Wilder and his team to stay away from fantasy numbers when it comes time for them to begin negotiations for the Anthony Joshua fight today. Hearn doesn’t want to miss putting the Wilder-Joshua fight together by Wilder’s side pricing themselves out for the fight.

What’s unclear though is what kind of percentage cut of the revenue for the Wilder vs. Joshua mega fight that Hearn has in mind. He’s already offered WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker a meager 20% cut of the loot for a fight with Joshua in early 2018. Does Hearn offer the same 20 percent to Wilder? That won’t get Hearn the fight if he’s only offering Wilder a mere trifle. Hearn needs to realize this isn’t a contender that Joshua is looking to fight in Wilder. The Bronze Bomber is the WBC heavyweight champion, and that title is viewed by many in the boxing world as the most valuable of the 4 titles in the division.

“We have to find middle ground between reality and fantasy. If we can find the right deal, there is no reason why that fight can’t happen next,” Hearn remarked to Sky Sports News. ””We want the fight. The Wilder fight will happen in 2018 unquestionably. It’s just a case of whether it’s next, in the summer and, importantly, where it [takes place].”

The positive thing that Joshua has going for him is he has a good Plan-B option if he can’t put together a fight with Wilder in 2018. Hearn can always match Joshua against Joseph Parker in early next year, although I’m starting to doubt whether that fight will happen given the 20 percent offer given to the New Zealand fighter. There’s also Hearn’s new signee Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller.

If Hearn fails to produce a unification fight for Joshua against Wilder or Parker, he can always use his new Matchroom Sport stable fighter Jarrell Miller as his next opponent. Fighting Miller will get Joshua some attention in the United States on the east coast, but definitely not in the middle or the west coast of the country. Miller is popular in the New York area. Matching Joshua against Miller would play out well in New York and New Jersey, and he’d at least get some of the boxing fans focused on the fight in that area. At present, the New Yorker don’t know who Joshua is.

Hearn made a big deal on Wednesday in asking some people on the street of New York if they’d ever heard of Deontay Wilder, and the people said they hadn’t heard of him. Wilder is from Alabama, which is not close to New York. What was interesting is Hearn didn’t elect to ask people on the streets of New York if they’d ever heard of Joshua. It goes without saying that the smirk on Hearn’s face would be knocked off immediately once he found out that most people have never heard of Joshua either. Welcome to the U.S. Boxing is not the number 1 spot in the country. The sooner Hearn realizes that the better.

Hearn wants to have Joshua fight either Parker or Wilder in February or March. However, the way that Hearn keeps talking about the Wilder fight needing more time to marinate suggest that he might not give it his best in the negotiations with his management. If Hearn doesn’t want to make that fight with Wilder, he can always offer him a trifle, and then move on quickly when his management refuses the offer. It’s good that Hearn has finally stopped blabbering about Wilder needing to fight Dillian Whyte next in order to earn the fight with Joshua. That was never going to happen.

Joshua though is still talking about Wilder possibly fighting Whyte, which tells me that he might be getting news from Hearn in a delayed manner rather than given constant updates. The Dillian Whyte ship has long past, and that fight is not going to happen. Whyte needs to fight Jarrell Miller in an in-house Matchroom Sport fight. Hearn should put those 2 together. He can cut loose the loser of the fight, and keep the winner. At this point, it doesn’t look like Whyte and Dereck Chisora will ever fight a rematch now that Chisora has lost. Hearn can clear some dead weight in his boxing promotional stable by matching Whyte and Miller, and then cutting lose the loser of the fight.

”You have two world champions – one is the biggest star in world boxing and one, if you walk the streets of Manhattan and ask if people know the name ‘Deontay Wilder’, the answer will be no,” said Hearn. “Walk down the streets in the UK and ask if people know the name ‘Anthony Joshua’ and they will know his life story.”


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