Hearn offers Deontay Wilder 2-fight deal
By Scott Gilfoid: Eddie Hearn said to IFL TV that he’s offered Deontay Wilder a 2-fight deal in which he can get $5 million for what he describes as a “tick over” fight against a mutually agreed upon opponent in October or November, and then a fight for $15 million against Anthony Joshua on April 13 next year at Wembley Stadium.
Hearn will need to agree to Wilder’s $5 million opponent, and that creates a lot of problems potentially if Hearn decides that he wants to stick one of his own heavyweights from his Matchroom stable inside the ring with him in October or November. It’s a lose-lose situation for Wilder if he has to fight Hearn’s fighters and if he’s stuck fighting on DAZN, which is likely going to be one of the conditions for Deontay to get the $5 million. I think it’s a given that Hearn will insist that Wilder fight on DAZN AND face Dillian Whyte in order to get the $5 million in the tick over fight. That’s a terrible deal for Wilder, even though he would likely obliterate Whyte in two or three rounds.
Wilder would be a tool to help increase Whyte’s popularity in Hearn’s Matchroom stable, as well as a tool to help increase subscriptions to his DAZB streaming service in the U.S. Unfortunately for Hearn, I don’t see Wilder agreeing to a fight against on DAZN, and I definitely don’t see him letting Hearn be the one in charge of who he faces. That’s not happening. Hearn is kidding himself if he thinks he can pick out Whyte for Wilder to fight and then stick the fight on DAZN in the States in hopes of getting a ton of U.S boxing fans to purchase the fight. Even if Wilder did fight on DAZN, the fans aren’t going to order it in high numbers to watch him beat up a slapper like Dillian Whyte. That’s not an interesting fight for the boxing public in the U.S. Whyte is a complete unknown to U.S fans, and he’s not popular with the hardcore fans. He’s known as the guy that was knocked out by Joshua in the past in 2015 rather than anything else he’s done with his career.
Hearn revealed during the interview that the offer he gave to Wilder is $15 million, but he failed to sign for the fight. Hearn says the deal is still there for Wilder to take, but it’ll need to happen in 2019 on April 13 at Wembley Stadium in London, England. Wilder will still get $15 million, which is said to be a flat fee. If the fight does rake in $100 million, Joshua would make a killing in bringing in much more money than Wilder.
Hearn says the $15 million was previously agreed upon by Wilder. The likely catch that Hearn isn’t mentioning about Wilder’s “tick over” fight for October or November is it could be one that he would have to agree to fight on DAZN for him to get the money. I mean, there would be absolutely no reason for Hearn to give Wilder that much money to fight if wasn’t going to do him a huge favor. Hearn has had rotten luck trying to sign U.S fighters to his promotion to fight on DAZN. If Hearn can get Wilder to agree to fight a mutually agreed upon fighter on DAZN, it would help breathe some life into this new network deal. Wilder fights on Showtime Boxing, however, and he might not be willing to take the bait, especially if it involves him having to fight on DAZN. Fighting on that network will likely result in Deontay Wilder not being seen by many boxing fans, because it’s a new streaming deal and fans will not be interested in signing up just to see Wilder fight. Moreover, if Hearn has to agree to the opponent for Wilder to fight in his tick over, it could involve him needing to face someone that Hearn wants him to fight like Dillian Whyte. After all, if Wilder has to fight someone that Hearn wants, you can bet that it’s going to be one of his stable fighters like Whyte.
Hearn says the $5 million that he would give to Wilder will be more than what he can make fighting anyone else in the States, and he thinks he should take it.
Wilder agreeing to the $15 million flat fee, which is just a little bit more than the $12.5 million offer given by Hearn initially, is disappointing to hear because it doesn’t sound like a fair deal at all. It is fair if the fight will only generate $30 million. But it wouldn’t be fair if the fight pulls in over $100 million or even $50 million. Wilder deserves more than $15 million to face Joshua. Here’s the kicker: If Wilder beats Joshua, he can get a 50-50 deal in the rematch. If he loses, then Joshua moves on and can fight whoever he pleases. Wilder will everything stacked against him fighting in the UK, and who knows what kind of officials will be working the fight. Wilder only getting a 50-50 deal in the rematch with Joshua if he beats him in the first fight is pretty sad because he should get the bigger purse.
Hearn went on to say that Joshua has fought much better opposition than Wilder during his career, saying that he’s fought Whyte, Wladimir Klitschko, Carlos Takam, Dominic Breazeale, Joseph Parker and he’s about to fight Alexander Povetkin in his next fight. Hearn states that Wilder has only fought Luis Ortiz, who he feels is an old fighter and not in his prime any longer. Hearn doesn’t say why he chose not to match Ortiz against Joshua after he knocked out one of his stable fighters in Dave Allen in the past. Hearn could have made the Joshua vs. Ortiz fight, but he chose not to do it.
Wilder needs hold out for a better offer from Hearn than the $15 million offer for the Joshua fight next April. Hearn says he’s offering Wilder $20 million by having him take two fights. If Hearn wants Wilder to fight one of his guys like Whyte, he needs to increase the money considerably for it to be worthwhile for him, because the pay is much too low.
Joshua is going to need to fight Wilder eventually because once he gets done with Povetkin, the options are rematches with Joseph Parker, Dillian Whyte and Carlos Takam. Hearn will start feeding Joshua retread opponents soon, and there isn’t going to be a lot of boxing fans that are going to want to see rematches between Joshua and those guys.
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