By Marcus Richardson: Deontay Wilder says he expects Anthony Joshua’s popularity in the UK to evaporate overnight after he knocks him out. 2012 Olympic gold medalist Joshua (20-0, 20 KOs) is a mega-star in the UK, bringing in massive pay-per-view numbers on Sky Box Office and selling out 90,000 seat stadiums.
Wilder thinks that’s unsustainable for the 28-year-old Joshua. He believes the fickle boxing fans will jump overboard from the Joshua express as soon as he knocks him out. The unbeaten WBC heavyweight champion ‘Bronze Bomber’ Wilder (39-0, 38 KOs) says he wants the fight with Joshua as soon as possible, whether it be in the United States or in the UK. Wilder doesn’t care. He says he’ll even fight Joshua in Africa if that’s where he wants it.
Wilder thinks Joshua has been misguided and “lied to” by his management about the fight with him. Wilder says Joshua is talking “crazy” each time he gives interviews, because he doesn’t know what’s going on. His promoter Eddie Hearn hasn’t filled him in with the correct details.
“Joshua doesn’t know what’s going on,” Wilder said to Fighthype. “We want him. We want to do fight him, and we want to do it ASAP, whether it’s in America or whether it’s in the UK. I’ll travel to Africa if you want to do it over there as well too. No matter where it is, I want the fight. I don’t care,” Wilder said.
The location of the Joshua fight is obviously not important to Wilder, but it is to his management. They’ll be looking to get the fight staged in the U.S if possible. The venue for the Joshua-Wilder fight will come down to wherever the most amount of money can be made. The tickets sell for more money in the U.S in the UK, so large crowds of 90,000 aren’t needed to make big money for a fight between Wilder and Joshua. 20,000 fans would make the kind of money that Joshua would and Wilder would get fighting in a large stadium in the UK.
”He said he’d fight in Vegas, and then in the next minute he’s talking about staying in England, talking about the percentages and stuff like that,” Wilder said. ”Bro, 70,000 people look good in a small country, but you ain’t getting the money like you would over here compared to 20,000. You make your money here in America. The mega of boxing is here in America. It always will be no matter what they doing over there, because once I knock him out, all that is going to go down. All that is going to die on out, and then he’ll be no more,” Wilder said.
It’s difficult to imagine Joshua losing his tremendous fan base from just one loss to Wilder. You never know though. Manny Pacquiao’s popularity disappeared entirely in the U.S after his one-sided 12 round unanimous decision defeat to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2015. Pacquiao never regained his popularity after that defeat. However, Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank didn’t help matters by him choosing to match Pacquiao against fighters that boxing fans were not interested in seeing him fight after his defeat to Mayweather. Joshua has a better chance of staying popular in the UK as long as his promoter Hearn puts him in against guys that the fans want to see him fight like Tyson Fury, Jarrell Miller, Dillian Whyte, Luis Ortiz, David Haye, Joe Joyce and Daniel Dubois.
Choose your battles wisely. Choose your places wisely. Whatever he feels will be comfortable for him, and he feels like he has the courage to beat me, then so be it. I’ll be there. I’ll be waiting,” Wilder said.
It’s good that the 32-year-old Wilder is flexible about the location for the Joshua fight. That’ll help when it comes time for the 2 fighters to negotiate the fight.
“Joshua keeps saying we didn’t offer him anything,” said Wilder. “What in the hell do you think Eddie Hearns and his dad came down here for. We didn’t come down here for to just to talk about no Dillian Whyte. If he understands, I don’t know what they tell this boy but, he’s been misguided. He’s been told lies to. That’s why he sounds so crazy when he do interviews. He don’t know what the [expletive] is going on,” Wilder said.
Joshua needs to be on the same page with Hearn when it comes to the negotiations with Wilder. If Joshua can be present during all of the negotiation meetings with Wilder’s management, it would help a lot. At least that way he won’t be receiving the news of the negotiations through a filter from Hearn. He’ll know exactly what was said during the meetings. The negotiations are going to be tough as it is for the Joshua-Wilder fight.
Deontay Wilder wants 50 percent of the purse, and he’s not going to be willing to take the smaller money to make the fight happen. Hearn still maintains that Wilder doesn’t deserve a 50-50 cut. That stance by Hearn is unlikely to change no matter how good Wilder looks in defending his title against Luis Ortiz (28-0, 24 KOs) on March 3 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. It isn’t about accomplishment for Hearn. It’s about popularity and bringing money. Wilder hasn’t proven himself to be a big money fighter like Joshua has in the UK. Joshua has the advantage with him being a PPV fighter in the UK. Wilder fights on regular cable on Showtime in the States.