Hearn says Deontay Wilder can still sign contract for Joshua fight
By Scott Gilfoid: Eddie Hearn says Deontay Wilder can still sign the contract that he sent him for the heavyweight unification fight against Anthony Joshua, but the fight will need to wait until April 13 at Wembley Stadium in London, England. Hearn says the $15 million flat fee deal is still there for Wilder to sign for April 13 next year.
Joshua, of course, will get the lion’s share of the loot, as well as the hometown advantage. Hearn points out that Joshua holds more heavyweight titles than Wilder in holding down the IBF, WBA and WBO straps. What Hearn doesn’t say is the casual and hardcore boxing fans don’t care how many titles a fighter has. All they care about is who is perceived as the best at heavyweight in the division, and many fans believe Wilder (40-0, 39 KOs) is the best, not Joshua, who was almost knocked out by 41-year-old Wladimir Klitschko last year.
Hearn says Wilder can still take the fight with Joshua, but not in 2018. Joshua will be defending against his WBA mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin next.
“The contract is still live, it’s still valid, it’s sitting on your manager’s desk,” Hearn said to Sky Sports News about the contract still being there for Wilder to sign, albeit for April 13, 2019. ”Apparently you only had two minor comments that you couldn’t even send us, so send them now, or sign the contract and we will sign the contract before your ink is dry.”
I don’t know why Wilder would ever agree to a flat fee contract of $15 million for a fight against Joshua. If Wilder can’t share in a percentage deal for the Joshua fight, then it seems to me that the fight isn’t worth taking. Wilder might want to let Hearn know that unless he gets a decent percentage split of say 55-45 for the Joshua fight, that there won’t be a fight. Wilder deserves at least 45 percent of the kitty for the unification fight against Joshua. It doesn’t matter that Joshua holds three alphabet titles and Wilder only one. As I mentioned already, the casual and hardcore boxing fans couldn’t care less about which fighter has more titles. The ONLY thing the fans care about is who is the best in the division, and unfortunately for Hearn and Joshua, Wilder is perceived by many to be the most talented heavyweight on the planet today.
Here’s what Wilder said to his fans on social media this week about his unsuccessful attempts to get a fight against Joshua:
”Dear boxing fans, Well, I tried…I tried to give you guys the biggest fight of your lives, the most exciting fight in world history. The first undisputed, undefeated, WBC, WBA, WBO, and IBF unified heavyweight champion of the world since Lewis. They asked for jungle deep numbers just to get out of the fight not knowing we were hustlers so we served ’em (The Money’s In Da Bag). Just told a bold face lie, he’s not a stand-up guy. Instead, he wanted to fight in his country. They offered me a “flat fee” crack head money, something that’s equivalent to a pack of peanuts + loaf bread & a jar of honey!!”
As you can see, Wilder isn’t happy about the pitiful $15 million flat fee that he was offered by Hearn. For a fight that is expected to make over $100 million, Wilder’s $15M flat fee gives Joshua an 85-15 split. That’s obviously an incredibly unfair split in Joshua’s favor. Heck, that split is even lower than what a mandatory challenger gets for a fight against Joshua. A mandatory rates at least a 75-25 split. Wilder wasn’t even offered that split. That tells you right there that Hearn was never serious about wanting to
put together the Joshua v. Wilder fight in 2018. I mean, I think Hearn would have put the fight together if Team Wilder was crazy enough to agree to the lowball offer that he put together for the Joshua fight. If Wilder’s team had inked the lopsided contract for the fight, then Hearn wouldn’t have stood in the way of letting it take place. After all, everything would have been in AJ’s favor for the fight, from the purse split to the hometown advantage. Why wouldn’t Hearn agree to that kind of deal?
If I’m Wilder, I would let Hearn know straightaway what he can do with his $15 million flat fee offer. I would tell him that the only deal I will ever agree to is a 55-45 split. Until he’s willing to offer up that kind of loot, he needs to get lost and stop name dropping my name. Once Hearn realizes that Joshua’s popularity is suffering because of him not fighting Wilder, I see Eddie coming back with the nice price in offering Wilder the 55-45 split. Hearn wouldn’t have to grovel to get the Wilder fight, but he will definitely need to raise the offer considerably from the pitiful $15 million smackers that he’s currently offering him. That offer is an insult to Wilder because it’s not even what a mandatory challenger rates for a fight against Joshua.
This week, the World Boxing Association ordered Joshua to face his WBA mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin in his next fight. The WBA’s decision to order that fight arguably bailed Joshua and Hearn out of a tough situation because neither of them seemed to want to put the fight together against the 6’7” Wilder. The WBA’s decision to order Joshua to face Povetkin next got him out of a tough spot. Of course, if Joshua really wanted the Wilder fight, he would have thrown his WBA strap in the trash bin and made the much more important fight against Deontay. I mean, it’s not as if it would have been difficult for Hearn to setup a fight between Joshua and eventual WBA. It would be so easy for Joshua to get a fight against the fighter that picked up the WBA title. It’s apparent to me that Joshua and especially Hearn never were serious about putting together the fight against Wilder in the first place for 2018, because if they were, they would have given him a 55-45 split along with a rematch clause.
“April 13th at Wembley Stadium, Deontay Wilder can give the fans what they want,” Hearn said to Sky Sports News. “Anthony Joshua has got four world championship belts. Deontay Wilder has got one.”
With the money Hearn is offering, I’d be very surprised if the Joshua vs. Wilder fight takes place in 2019. I don’t think it will because it doesn’t appear that there’s true interest in the fight on Hearn and Joshua’s part. Yeah, Hearn and Joshua are great talking about wanting to fight Wilder, but when it comes down to actually making the fight, they’re not ready to give him the green that he deserves for the fight.