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Deontay Wilder wants 50-50 split for Anthony Joshua fight

Anthony Joshua Deontay Wilder

By Scott Gilfoid: Anthony Joshua and his promoter Eddie Hearn an forget about WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder accepting a flat fee for the April 13 unification fight between the two champions because it’s not going to happen. The Bronze Bomber Wilder (40-0, 39 KOs) now says he wants a 50-50 purse split if he’s going to fight IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Joshua (21-0, 20 KOs).

This is bad news for Joshua and his promoter Eddie Hearn, because they’re apparently only interested in giving Wilder a flat fee. Wilder saying no more flat fees means that they’re going to need to give him the equal purse split of 50-50 or move on and look at other fights. The way that Wilder is talking, I don’t think he’s going to change his mind about wanting a 50-50 deal. I could tell just by looking at Wilder’s face that he wasn’t joking about tat/ he wants parity in the negotiations and if he doesn’t get it, then he’s going to move on.

Joshua’s promoter Hearn of Matchroom Boxing bragged this week that Wilder’s team had agreed to a $15 million flat fee for the fight against AJ, and that they can have the same terms for next year on April 13 at Wembley Stadium in London, England. Hearn added that Wilder can get an additional $5 million if he agrees to fight in October or November against a mutually agreed upon fighter. It’s believed that Wilder would need to agree to two things to get the $5 million. The first thing would likely be Wilder defending against Hearn’s fighter Dillian Whyte. The second would be to fight on Hearn’s DAZN streaming service in the U.S. Wilder would likely be a tool to help make Hearn’s DAZN platform a success in the States. Needless to say, it would be a rotten deal for Wilder if he agreed to it.

“It’s 50-50 straight across,” Wilder told Brendan Schaub of SHOWTIME Sports about what he wants in the next negotiations with Joshua and his promoters at Matchroom Sport. “I am not accepting no flat fee… I am done with that.”

Deontay sounds fed up with Joshua and Hearn after attempting to negotiate a fight for later this year. Hearn began the negotiations with a $12.5 flat fee offer for Wilder, and by the time the negotiations imploded, Hearn had only increased the offer by $2.5 million to $15 million. If the fight does bring in $100 million, Wilder would be getting a terrible deal if he agreed to the $15 million flat fee.

If Wilder sticks with the 50-50 purse split that he’s asking for, it’s going to leave Joshua and his promoter Hearn in the position where they’re going to need to think hard whether they want to be fair or choose the path of greed and hold out for as long as possible to get the lion’s share of the revenue.

Former cruiserweight champion Tony Bellew says Wilder needs to accept that he’s the B-side in the negotiations with Joshua, and that he’s not even done as much as he has since he moved up to heavyweight and beat and injured, over-the-hill former to division world champion David Haye in back to back fights.

”No one knows him, it’s a sham of a job that’s been done for him on the promotional front,” Bellew said to ”He should be a mega-star. I’ve got a better record at heavyweight than Wilder. I fought a former heavyweight world champion twice. Wilder has to understand he is the B-side. He’s the man with on belt and no stand-out victories on his resume,” Bellew said.

Bellew isn’t an American, so he can’t really speak for which boxing fans in the States knows Wilder or not. If Bellew lives in America, he could be taken more seriously, but the problem is he doesn’t live there,

so he has no idea whether the U.S boxing fans know who Wilder is or not. I think the fans have no clue who Bellew and Anthony Joshua is in the States. Neither of those guys are household names. The problem is Joshua’s fights are only televised on Showtime, and not too many people have that network in comparison to ESPN and HBO. America is a lot bigger than the UK, and that helps explain why it’s tougher to try and become well known in the States compared to the UK.

It doesn’t matter what Bellew says. If Wilder insists on getting a 50-50 purse split, Bellew can talk until he’s blue in the face and it’s not going to change that fact. As such, it’s going to come down to whether Joshua and Hearn want to give Wilder a 5-50 deal. If they’re interested in paying Wilder the money to fight him, then the unification fight can happen. If Hearn and Joshua are stubborn and unwilling to give Wilder the 50 percent split, it’s finished between them. Joshua can walk away and be satisfied that he’s the three-belt holder and not the four-belt uinified champion.

I stopped taking Bellew seriously after his comment about him having done more at heavyweight than Wilder does. I’m sorry but beating Haye is not the same thing as Wilder defeating Luis ‘King Kong’ Ortiz and the prime version of Bermane Stiverne he defeated three years ago in 2015. That version of Stiverne would knock Bellew out with ease. Stiverne was no joke back then. Ortiz would beat Bellew as well. Wilder’s win over Ortiz was a good victory. Bellew’s win over a shot David Haye are meaningless because he was old, injured and dealing with years of inactivity.

Wilder has other options available to him if Joshua doesn’t want to give him the 50-50 deal that he’s asking for. For the moment, Wilder can fight Dominic Breazeale in his next fight. After that, Wilder can defend against Hearn’s fighter Dillian Whyte if he’s still interested in facing him. That would be a good fight if Hearn lets the match take place. Hearn has spoken of wanting Wilder to fight Whyte for a long time. Wilder can call Hearn’s bluff an see whether he’s serious.

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