By Scott Gilfoid: Anthony Joshua says he’s ready to give WBC heavyweight champion Deontay ‘Bronze Bomber’ Wilder (40-0, 39 KOs) a very good offer for a fight between them that he feels he should readily accept.
Just how much Joshua and his promoter Eddie Hearn are offering to Deontay is unknown. The only thing Joshua is saying is it’s a 2-fight deal with the first fight taking place in the UK, either at Wembley Stadium or in Cardiff, Wales.
“If Wilder offered me the deal I’m going to offer him – to come and fight for four belts, with a great rematch clause and a great up-front clause – I would grab that with both hands,” Joshua said to Sky Sports News.
Wilder isn’t going to turn down a good offer from Joshua if it’s anywhere close to the money he wants to get for the fight. if Wilder turns down the offer, then that tells you that the money was so far below what he was asking for that it was unacceptable.
It must be a very good deal for Joshua, 28, saying he would agree to the conditions if it were offered to him. Joshua isn’t saying what percentage split the idea is. If it’s 75-25 or 70-30, I think it might be difficult for him to get Wilder to agree to that low of a percentage split. Wilder was asking for a 50-50 split, but he’s since lowered that request. Just how much Wilder wants to the fight is anyone’s guess. What we do know is if Joshua wants to get a shot at winning Wilder’s prestigious World Boxing Council heavyweight title, then he’s going to need to make a big offer, because he’s not going to agree to chicken feed.
Hearn has been talking about how Joshua brings in 10 times the amount of boxing fans for his fights in the UK compared to Wilder. When you hear Hearn talking like this, it means that he likely wants Wilder to take considerably less than what he’s asking for. The thing is, Wilder isn’t going to give the WBC title to Joshua on a silver platter just because he and Hearn wants the title. If they want a chance to win the WBC belt, they’re going to need to do more than just talk about making great offers. They’re going to need to actually give a respectable offer that’s not beneath Wilder’s dignity to accept.
“Now I have done that, Wilder’s my 100 per cent attention. Hopefully that will stop a lot of his talking and whining, and he can step up to the plate,” Joshua said.
There will be a rematch clause in the contract for Deontay. The first fight will take place in the UK and the second in the U.S. It’s basically the same 2-fight deal that Wladimir Klitschko had with Joshua for their fight last year in April 2017. Wladimir chose not to face Joshua in the rematch after getting stopped in the 11h round.
Joshua (21-0, 20 KOs) says he doesn’t want to face his WBA mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin next. He prefers to face Wilder, and then take the Povetkin fight in 2019 if he’s still the WBA heavyweight champion by then. However, Joshua could change his mind if Povetkin’s promoter 30 million pounds to fight him in Moscow, Russia. With that kind of money offer, it’s hard to see Joshua say no to it.
“I’m not really interested in Povetkin, I’m interested in Wilder,” Joshua said.
Joshua is saying that he’s not interested in taking the Povetkin now, but his tune could be changed if a big offer is made from the Russian fighter’s promoter. With the right kind of money being offered, I see Joshua taking the fight with the 38-year-old Povetkin next, and the Wilder fight being the one that is pushed to 2019. The Povetkin fight will likely pay Joshua more money, and it’s easily the lesser threat then the Wilder unification match. Right now, it looks like Joshua is ducking the Povetkin fight for some reason. I guess the 42 stitches that David Price needed to close up his wounds from his fight with Povetkin might have scared Joshua and Hearn off. Povetkin doesn’t look big at 6’2″, 225 lbs, but when he lands his shots, he does a lot of damage to his opponents.
The World Boxing Association has made Povetkin the mandatory for Joshua, so he deserves a title shot, All the WBA needs to do is order the fight, and then it’s a done deal unless they’re willing to let Joshua take the unification fight first. With the WBA, I can definitely see them pushing Joshua to take the Povetkin fight next rather than the Wilder fight.
Povetkin looked good in beating David Price in the 5th round on the undercard of Joshua’s recent fight against WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker on March 31 in Cardiff, Wales. Hearn mentioned wanting to make a fight between Povetkin and Dillian Whyte in June. Povetkin wants nothing to do with that fight, however. He wants the Joshua fight next rather than having to jump through another hoop to get it. Thus far, Hearn has tried to match Whyte up against Wilder and Povetkin for some reason. I don’t know why Hearn keeps trying to make Joshua’s potential opponents go through Whyte first rather than putting them in with him straightaway. It just looks to me like Hearn doesn’t fancy the idea of having Joshua take any risky fights that he could maybe lose.