Hearn says Joshua is the Willy Wonka fight for heavyweights
By Scott Gilfoid: Heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn says his fighter is the ‘Willy Wonka’ of the division, and that the other fighters see him as the ‘Golden ticket’ for a big payday.
Hearn wants Joshua’s potential opponents in 2018, Joseph Parker, Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury to be ‘realistic’ in the percentage split that they’re asking for to get the chance to share the ring with AJ. If Hearn would stop bellyaching about the money he’s going to need to pay these guys to fight Joshua, then maybe he’d have an easier time putting the fights together.
Hearn is harping about the money 24/7, making it seem like guys are asking for a king’s ransom for the chance to fight Joshua. Parker and Wilder are heavyweight world champions. Of course, they’re going to want to get paid well for a fight they’re helping to bring in money to. These guys aren’t little Charlie Bucket, happy to take whatever is handed out by Hearn.
Hearn is having problems with Parker, who isn’t keen on accepting 30 percent of the take for the fight. The 30 percent that Hearn is offering to Parker, the WBO heavyweight champion, isn’t exactly Golden ticket money. Parker wanted a 60-40 split, then he dropped down to 65-35, and even that isn’t low enough for Hearn. He wants Parker and his promoter David Higgins to drop down to the 30 percent level.
“AJ is that Willy Wonka fight – the golden ticket, the one everybody wants. A lot of people are talking ‘I want this, I want that’ but if you really want it be realistic and come get it,” said Hearn to skysports.com.
Tyson Fury said on his Twitter on Wednesday that he’d accept a 40 percent cut of the money for a fight with Joshua. That probably put a big smile on Hearn’s gob. If he can get Fury to agree to taking just 40 percent of the look straightaway, then he can use that to wave over the head of Parker and Wilder and say, ‘See, even Fury was willing to take the smaller cut at 40 percent. You’re not as popular as Fury, so you should be happy to accept 30 percent we’re offering to you.’
“Whoever is the first stop off, end of March or early April, so be it…but I do want it to be for a championship belt,” said Hearn. ”There’s two left – WBC and WBO. The WB is fine, whether it’s the O or C is up to the opponent.”
Hearn says the Parker fight is close to being finalized, and he thinks it could get done by Christmas. That must mean that Parker and Higgins have dropped their request of a 35 percent cut of the loot. That’s got to make Hearn happy if Parker is giving up on the hope of getting the split he wants.