Hearn tells Wilder to call him to negotiate Joshua fight
By Scott Gilfoid: Promoter Eddie Hearn says he wants WBC heavyweight champion Deontay ‘Bronze Bomber’ Wilder (39-0, 38 KOs) to call him so they can put together a unification fight between him and IBF/WBA heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua (20-0, 20 KOs).
Hearn is interested in putting together a 2-fight deal with Wilder, but it won’t be for a 50-50 split for the first fight. Wilder was asking for an even split for a fight with Joshua, but Hearn says that’s ridiculous.
Wilder recently said he’ll take the smaller cut of the revenue for the first fight, and if he beats him, then the split would be reversed with him getting the bigger cut. Hearn likes that idea. He says Joshua sees Wilder as an easier fight than the Joseph Parker fight. Joshua is fighting the unbeaten WBO heavyweight champion Parker (24-0, 18 KOs) later this month on March 31 at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales.
”He’s saying that he will take any split, as long as that split is reversed in the rematch,” Hearn said to skysports.com about Deontay Wilder. ”No problem with that. Again, pick up the phone, call me Deontay. It’s very easy, we can get it done over a cup of tea and a slice of cake.”
Hearn might be just talking to get the boxing public off his back about the Wilder fight. It looks bad the way Wilder keeps calling Joshua out and telling the boxing world that he’s ducking the fight. Now we hear Hearn telling Wilder to pick up the phone and call him. That should be Hearn’s job as a promoter to be trying to make the Joshua-Wilder fight rather than putting it on Wilder. When you hear a promoter telling another fighter to pick up the phone to call him, it suggests that he’s not interested in putting any real effort at making that fight. Hearn didn’t take that approach when he lined Joshua up for mismatches against Dominic Breazeale and Eric Molina. Hearn was on the phone calling their promoters up to setup the fights. We’re not seeing that with the Wilder fight. Hearn is putting it on Wilder, and that’s an indication that he’s not interested in making that fight. Joshua is Hearn’s golden goose. If Joshua loses to Wilder by a 1st round knockout, you can bet the PPV buys are going to nosedive.
Hearn needs to take a wait and see approach to Wilder, since he has a very dangerous opponent on his hands this Saturday night with his title defense against unbeaten Cuban Luis ‘King Kong’ Ortiz (28-0, 24 KOs) in their fight at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. This is a fight that is a toss-up in the eyes of a lot of boxing fans. However, there are rumors that Ortiz’s left hand is injured. In video taken on Wednesday, Ortiz’s left hand looks badly swollen. It’s unclear whether this is something that will hinder Ortiz’s performance against Wilder or not. But as badly swollen as Ortiz’s left hand is right now, it must be viewed as a potential problem for him during the Wilder fight. Ortiz’s lead his is left. If Ortiz can’t sit down on his left-hand power punches with full force, he’s going to be at the mercy of the 6’7” Wilder on Saturday. Unlike some fighters, Ortiz is not able to punch with power with both hands. He slaps with his right hand. His power comes strictly from his left hand. Wilder, 32, is not going to be Joshua’s next opponent though.
After Joshua fights Parker, he’ll face Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller (20-0-1, 18 KOs) in the summer, if both fighters win their next fights. Miller will be facing former heavyweight title challenger Johann Duhaupas (37-4, 24 KOs) next on April 28 on HBO World Championship Boxing on the Daniel Jacobs vs. Maciej Sulecki card at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Joshua and Miller are favorites to win those fights, but you never know. This is boxing. Anything can happen in those fights if Parker and Duhaupas land the perfect shot.
“He’s making very small money and needs a new promoter,” Hearn said. ”I don’t think he has a promoter at the moment, so if he doesn’t – Deontay just pick up the phone, drop me a line. We’ll get this AJ fight; we’ll make you some real money.”
Hearn is going to have to make the Wilder fight for Joshua eventually. Whether that happens this year or next year is up to Hearn and Joshua. Wilder wants the Joshua fight next, but that doesn’t seem to be in the cards for him. Hearn wants Joshua to fight Jarrell Miller next, as he believes that fight will help make a name for him in the U.S. It might not. Miller isn’t a big star, given that he’s just an undercard fight who has been beating weak opposition.
Joshua is lucky he’s not from America, because he’d be in the same boat at Wilder is if he were living in the States. Wilder isn’t making the same kind of money that Joshua makes because the boxing pubic in the U.S don’t back their fighters as much as they do in the UK. Joshua would be lucky if he made Wilder money if he came from the U.S and fought over there. Wilder’s problem isn’t about his promoter. It’s the fact that he’s not had good opposition to fight. The U.S fans haven’t been excited at seeing Wilder blow away less than spectacular opposition like Bermane Stiverne, Eric Molina, Duhaupas, Chris Arreola, Artur Szpilka and Gerald Washington.