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Deontay Wilder says Joshua fight won’t be difficult to make

Image: Deontay Wilder says Joshua fight won’t be difficult to make

By Stanley White: Deontay Wilder has no doubt that a fight between him and IBF/WBA heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua will be able to get made this year. WBC champion Wilder (39-0, 38 KOs) is optimistic that he’ll be fighting Joshua in 2018, and he has no problems traveling to the UK to make the fight with the 28-year-old.

Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn has other thoughts, however. Hearn says Wilder is asking for too much of a purse split for the Joshua fight. Wilder wants a 50 percent cut for the Joshua fight. Hearn doesn’t say what he thinks Wilder is worth, but it might not be anywhere close to that figure for him to be talking so negatively about his chances of negotiating the match successfully.

This is a fight that Joshua needs for him to win the WBC title. If Joshua defeats WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker in March or April, there will only one title belt not in Joshua’s possession. Hearn must make the Wilder fight for Joshua to win that belt. There’s one other option for Joshua if Hearn doesn’t want to give Wilder the 50-50 split that he’s asking for.

They can simply wait for Wilder to eventually get beaten by one of the heavyweights in division. Once that happens, then Hearn can negotiate a deal with that heavyweight for a unification fight with Joshua. That’s a risky strategy though, because the 6’7” Wilder might be to hold onto his WBC title for many years before he eventually loses. Wladimir Klitschko was able to hold onto his heavyweight belts for 9 years before he was finally beaten by Tyson Fiury at age 41 in 2015. Wilder is only 32, and he’s got a long ways to go before he’s 41. Joshua might not be able to hang on for that long for Wilder to get beaten by someone.

“I don’t think the business side is going to be that difficult, especially after I beat Luis Ortiz and I knock him out,” said Wilder to Yahoo Sports News in discussing the negotiations for the Joshua fight. “I don’t think it’s going to be that hard. If I have to go to England, then so be it. I’m not worried about traveling. But is he worried about traveling? He’s never traveled, and he ain’t planning on traveling. I like to travel. I’m a traveling king. I don’t have to sit in my kingdom all the time. They want a place where they feel comfortable,” said Wilder about Joshua needing to fight in the UK for him to feel comfortable and confident.

it would be very surprising if the Joshua-Wilder fight gets made in 2018, given the stance that Matchroom Sport promoter Eddie Hearn is taking about Wilder not deserving a 50 percent purse split. As long as Hearn sees Wilder as not being worth an equal split of the revenue, the Joshua-Wilder fight probably won’t get made. Wilder or Joshua will need to back down before the fight can get made.

Wilder’s punching power definitely gives him a big asset that helps him rise above crowd noise and judges that are influenced by applause for the home fighter. Joshua’s fans might work against him if they start cheering loudly, because Wilder seems to fight best when he hears kind of cheering. The last thing that Joshua needs is for a motivated Wilder to be bouncing right hands off of his jaw. If Joshua gets tired against Wilder, which is possible, those big right hand power shots from the ‘Bronze Bomber’ could turn into knockout blows.

It might be better off for Joshua to fight Wilder in the U.S in front of a smaller crowd than in the UK with over 70,000 boxing fans showing up to see the fight. Wilder would be the more dangerous fighter fighting in front of a large crowd than Joshua, because he’s faster, taller, and the bigger puncher of the two. Wilder is also the more confidence guy right now. Wilder looks like he’s at the zenith of his career. Joshua may have seen his best years always pass him by a couple of years ago. He’s not looking good at this point of his career. The weight that Joshua has put on lately might be a factor in why he’s not impressing like he used to.

“They want a place where they feel they have an advantage, and a little more power. When I come out there and whip him, it’s going to make it all the more better,” said Wilder.

Wilder is correct about why Joshua and Hearn want to only fight in the UK rather than traveling to another country for a fight. They want the advantage that the pro-Joshua crowds can bring them. But more than that, they want to take advantage of the money those large crowds bring to Joshua’s fights. Joshua and Hearn are making a ton of money from the large crowds that are streaming in to see him fight in stadiums. If Joshua fights Wilder in the U.S, for instance, there won’t be a huge crowd that will turn out to see the fight because the casual boxing fans don’t know who Joshua is and they won’t care. It would take too much time for Joshua to be properly promoted in the U.S for a fight between him and Wilder to be a big affair. Hearn hasn’t invested properly in turning Joshua into a big name in the U.S by having him fight over there.

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