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Deontay Wilder no longer demanding 50/50 split for Anthony Joshua fight

Deontay Wilder

By Tim Royner: WBC heavyweight champion Deontay ‘Bronze Bomber’ Wilder (39-0, 38 KOs) revealed on Friday that he’s willing to take less than a 50-50 purse split for a unification fight against IBF/WBA heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua (20-0, 20 KOs). However, Wilder said that Joshua will need to accept the same deal with him taking the smaller purse in the rematch if there is one.

(Photo credit: Esther Lin/SHOWTIME)

“Whatever he offers me, he must take that same deal in the rematch,” Wilder said of Joshua.

It might not batter that Wilder, 32, is willing to take the smaller cut of the pie for a fight against the 6’5” Joshua. If AJ’s promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Sport isn’t ready or willing to take a chance on making that fight, then Wilder is wasting his breath talking about being willing to accept less of the money.

Hearn is talking about wanting to match Joshua against these 4 fighters AFTER the March 31st unification fight against WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker:

• Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller

• Dillian Whyte

• Alexander Povetkin

• Tyson Fury

Hearn wouldn’t be talking up these 4 fights for Joshua if this weren’t his focus for him. Hearn is NOT talking up a fight between Joshua and Wilder right now, which suggests that Deontay is a low priority for him. Wilder is probably the last resort for Joshua after he’s exhausted every other fight he can make.

It’s probable that Hearn will wait until Joshua has exhausted those 4 fights before he looks in Wilder’s direction to make the Joshua-Wilder unification fight. From a business stand point, Joshua is safer to take the easy money fights before he fights Wilder, who could leave his career in the dumps if he loses badly to him. By making the soon to be 33-year-old Wilder wait for the Joshua fight, Hearn can age him like Golden Boy Promotions did with middleweight champion Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin in making him wait for 2 years for a fight with Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, and then making him wait almost 1 year for a rematch. It’s all strategy stuff when it comes to promoters trying to ensure their fighters have the best chance of winning against fighters that could ruin their money-making ability.

It’s probably not a good idea for Wilder to have revealed that he would take a smaller cut of the revenue for a fight against the 28-year-old Joshua, because that could lead to his British promoter Eddie Hearn looking to offer a much smaller purse to Wilder in the neighborhood of 70-30 like he did with WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker. Hearn has said that he will NEVER give Wilder a 50 percent cut of the purse for a fight against Joshua. Hearn has never said what he would be willing to give Wider. But the fact that Hearn has mentioned in the past that Wilder fights in front of smaller crowds on non-pay-per-view events, it suggests that he might not even be given a 40 percent offer.

Before Joshua and Wilder can start talking about a fight between them, they need to win their next fights in March. Wilder will defend his WBC title against unbeaten Luis ‘King Kong’ Ortiz (28-0, 24 KOs) on March 3rd at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. That fight will be televised on Showtime Championship Boxing in the States. For his part, Joshua will be facing WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker (24-0, 18 KOs) on March 31 in front of crowed of 80,000 fans at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales. Joshua-Parker will be shown on Sky Box Office. If Wilder and Joshua win their next fights, then there’s a chance the two of them will face each other in the summer. It’s still doubtful though. Hearn has been talking a lot about wanting to have Joshua fight Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller in the summer. Hearn is also interested in matching Joshua with Dillian ‘The Body Snatcher’ Whyte in a rematch. Hearn says he prefers Whyte to be a world champion when he makes the Joshua-Whyte fight, which suggests that he’s going to try and get the World Boxing Council to force Wilder to defend against Whyte so that he can have a chance to win the WBC title.

”I really hope it can be a unified fight, but we’ll see,” Hearn said to IFL TV of his vision of matching Joshua against Whyte in a rematch after he wins a title of his own against Wilder.

Whyte (22-1, 16 KOs) is fighting former WBA heavyweight champion Lucas ‘Big Daddy’ Browne (25-0, 22 KOs) on March 24 at the O2 Arena in London, England. It’s possible the WBC could order Wilder to defend against Whyte before the end of 2018, but not likely. Whyte is not a puncher, and he can be hurt, as we’ve seen in his fights with Joshua, Dereck Chisora and Robert Helenus. Whyte is very easy to hit as well with his head shots. Wilder would likely have an easier time beating Whyte than he will against the 38-year-old Ortiz on March 3. Ortiz has boxing skills, power and he’s never been hurt before. Ortiz is a better fighter than Whyte. Hearn is probably going to need to find another heavyweight to sign if he wants someone to beat Wilder. Whyte is probably too weak of a puncher to have much of a chance of defeating him. It would be best for Hearn to make the Joshua vs. Whyte 2 rematch without waiting on a Wilder-Whyte fight. It’s better for Hearn to make the Joshua-Whyte fight without putting Whyte in with Wilder. There’s too high of a chance for Whyte to get knocked out by Wilder.

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