Hearn believes Joshua vs. Wilder is “70% likely to happen”
By Jeff Aranow: Eddie Hearn says he’s had positive conversations with the management for WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder, and he now believes there’s a “70 percent” chance of a unification fight between him and his fighter IBF/WBA heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua can happen.
Hearn had been complaining for the last week that Wilder’s management – Al Haymon and Shelly Finkel – didn’t want to meet with him to put together a deal following their take it or leave it offer of $50 million to Joshua. But it looks like Hearn has finally been able to meet with them, and he’s feels a lot more positive about a fight taking place between Joshua and Wilder.
”We’ve had some positive conversations over the past day or so,” Hearn said to skysports.com. “70 per cent,” Hearn said when asked the likelihood of a fight being made between Joshua and Wilder. “Their side has been very vocal in letting the media know about everything that is happening. We’ve had some positive conversations over the past day or so.”
After weeks of back and forth messages being sent through social media, Hearn has positive discussions in the last 24 hours with Team Wilder, and he’s now hopeful that the fight can get made with Joshua.
If the Joshua-Wilder fight deal isn’t made, then Hearn says WBA mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin is the likely next opponent for Joshua to fight.
Povetkin, 38, is the WBA mandatory and Joshua doesn’t want to give up his World Boxing Association title. However, Hearn also says there’s a chance that they could ask the WBA to allow them to make a voluntary defense against Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller, and he believes the sanctioning body would allow them to do so. Hearn prefers to make the Joshua-Povetkin fight if the negotiations with Wilder fall through. Hearn doesn’t want to put off the Povetkin fight.
Hearn says he has some simple questions that he wants Wilder’s management to answer about the negotiations. Hearn isn’t saying what those questions are, but they likely involve the $50 million guaranteed purse for Joshua. That’s a huge purse for a fight that Hearn says will likely make only a little over $40 million. If the fight fails to bring in the huge $100 million that Wilder’s management believes it will, they could wind up losing a lot of money due to the $50 million purse for Joshua.
Neither fighter has established themselves as PPV fighters in the U.S. For the Joshua-Wilder match to make $100 million, it’s going to require that a lot of PPV buys come from the U.S side. The question is can the Joshua vs. Wilder fight bring in 1 million+ PPV buys in the States? It might not.
“Negotiations are ongoing and we’re all hopeful to reach an agreement,” Hearn said.
Hearn has seemed very interested in matching Joshua against Jarrell Miller first before he makes the Joshua-Wilder fight. Hearn seems to think that Joshua’s popularity in the U.S will increase if he beats Miller. Unfortunately, Miller is not a household name in the U.S, and he looked poor last weekend in beating Johann Duhaupas on the undercard of the Daniel Jacobs vs. Maciej Sulecki card at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
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