Hearn says Joshua will decide on Wilder in 10 days
By Tim Royner: Promoter Barry Hearn says Anthony Joshua will be making his decision whether to fight WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder next when he sits down to make his decision in 7 to 10 days.
Hearn says it’s Joshua who will make the ultimate decision whether it’s Wilder, Alexander Povetkin or Jarrell Miller that he faces next. However, it doesn’t look good for Wilder. Hearn says Povetkin is leading preference followed by American Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller and then Wilder.
Wilder (40-0, 39 KOs) likely won’t take the news hard if he gets passed up by Joshua, as there’s talk that he’s already got his WBC mandatory challenger Dominic Breazeale as his backup option for him to fight in the summer. Wilder’s management team are trying to get him the Joshua fight, but they’ve had no luck in putting the fight together after they made an offer of $50 million and it was met with skepticism on Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn.
Wilder’s manager Shelly Finkel wanted to hear a simple yes or no whether Hearn would accept it, and unfortunately he’s heard neither. Hearn is reportedly planning on making a counter offer, which could mean that he wants Joshua to get more than $50 million. Hearn started the negotiations a couple of weeks ago when he gave Wilder a flat fee $12.5 million take it or leave it offer.
”I think his preference is Alexander Povetkin for his mandatory, Jarrell Miller is in the top five, and Deontay Wilder,” Hearn said to bbc.com. “They’re his three main choices and I expect him to make his mind up in the next seven to 10 days. He’s a smart young man and the final decision is always made by him.”
I don’t think many boxing fans expect Joshua to pick Wilder, because it’s a dangerous fight for him and not as easy to make as title defenses against Povetkin or Miller. Those two guys will have to take whatever Joshua and Hearn offer to them. Wilder is a different story. He holds the WBC title, he’s popular, dangerous and he has excellent management. If Wilder ends up losing in a fight or two, Joshua could wind up regretting that he didn’t make the fight with him. Joshua could still fight Wilder, but the interest wouldn’t be the same unless he was willing to wait for him to rebuild his career by putting together some wins.
Joshua and Hearn want Wilder to prove that the $50 million offer from his management is legitimate and not just a pie in the sky offer to make them look bad. It’s hard to tell whether Wilder is serious or not about the fight because the two sides haven’t met to negotiate the fight. Wilder’s team just wants to know if he $50 million is agreeable to them before they sit down with them, and that has failed to happen. Hearn and Joshua won’t agree to it, so it looks like they expect more money than the $50 million. Given that Hearn has said previously that he doesn’t believe the Joshua-Wilder fight will make much more than $40 million, it would be crazy for Wilder’s team to increase the $50 million offer.
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