Anthony Joshua will sign contract for Deontay Wilder fight says Hearn
By Scott Gilfoid: In a what purely comes across as a public relations move, IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua (21-0, 20 KOs) will be signing his half of the contract for a unification fight against WBC champion Deontay Wilder (40-0, 39 KOs) for a unification fight on April 13 at Wembley Stadium in London, England.
Hearn says the terms of the contract that Joshua will be the same ones that Wilder agreed to previously, but never signed. Hearn wants put pressure on Wilder to get him to sign the contract for the April 13 fight, even though he chose not to sign it because he was unhappy with it. Joshua wants the WBC title that Wilder holds, and the only way he can get a hold of the strap is to face him. However, the $15 million flat fee offer given to Deontay by Hearn is too small for the tastes of the talented American. He wants a 50-50 purse split of the loot for the fight, which could be as high as $100 million. If Wilder receives 50 percent of the revenue, which appears highly unlikely given Hearn’s stance of only offering him a flat fee, it could give him as much as $50 million. That’s a pretty good chunk of change for a night’s work for the American knockout artist.
Joshua will be defending his titles next against his WBA mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin on either September 22 or 29 at Wembley Stadium on Sky Box Office. Joshua will be holding a news conference next week and he’s be visiting the United States. Hearn says he wants to be able to say that they’ve done their part in trying to make the Joshua vs. Wilder fight. In other words, this will be pure theatrics next week when it comes to the blather about Wilder from Joshua and Hearn.
”We’re going to do is all the terms that were agreed by Deontay Wilder have now been put into the contract,” Hearn said to skysports.com. ”I think what we’re going to do, we’re going to sign the contract. Anthony Joshua says let’s sign the contract and put it in front of them, rather than them thinking that we’re bluffing for some bizarre reason, or we don’t want the fight,” Hearn said.
It makes you wonder why Hearn wants Deontay Wilder to agree to this particular deal so badly. Hearn said the deal won’t change. He’s not going to sweeten it by offering Wilder $16 million or $17 million. It’s a take it or leave it offer, and Wilder has already left it. Wilder’s manager Shelly Finkel says that Hearn isn’t offering a bump up in Deontay’s purse even though the seating for Wembley Stadium is being increased by 10,000 from 90,000 to 100,000. That’s a substantial increase in seating, and it’s unknown why Hearn isn’t offering Wilder an increase of his flat fee offer given the extra seating. You would think that Hearn would bump Deontay’s offer up by a few million at the very least given the extra seating. Finkel is very aware of the increase in seating, and he’s not likely to agree to the offer being made to Deontay unless it’s sweetened considerably.
If Wilder sticks with his 50-50 purse split demands, then Hearn is going to need to swallow his pride and scrap his dreams of getting the American talent to agree to the $15 million flat fee. There’s nothing wrong with Hearn offering a fighter a flat fee in order to fight Joshua. It’s just that Hearn picked the wrong guy to make that offer. I imagine that a flat fee would work for some of the other heavyweight contenders. I mean, I could see Dillian Whyte agreeing to a nice $15 million flat fee in order to fight Joshua. I doubt that Whyte would bellyache about a $15M flat fee offer. Of course, Whyte isn’t a world champion and he hasn’t fought anyone good since being knocked out by Joshua three years ago in 2015. It’s a different case when a fighter is holding the most prestigious heavyweight title in the division like Deontay is. I hate to say it but the other titles – IBF, WBA and WBO – are more like paper fodder next to the WBC in my opinion. The WBC title is the one that counts, and
Deontay has the strap in his possession. If Joshua wants a chance to contend for the WBC belt, then he’s going to need to lean on Hearn to get him change the contract offer from what appears to be an 85-15 split to a 50-50 split. Deontay isn’t going to agree to an 85-15 split of the pot. Hearn can grandstand all he wants but it’s not going to help him get a unification fight for Joshua against Wilder. To get that fight, Hearn is going to need to give Wilder a fair deal of 50-50 and stop pretending that it means something that Joshua holds more titles than ‘The Bronze Bomber.’ The only title that counts is Deontay’s WBC belts, and Joshua is the one that is hoping to get a chance to fight for that belt. Until Joshua has the WBC belt in his possession, he’s just holding straps of less value in my view. The WBC belt is the one that counts in the big scheme of things.
“You’ve agreed these terms, we’ve now even signed the contract, so fingers crossed, April 13 at Wembley will be Joshua against Wilder,” Hearn said.
Hearn sounds like he’s really deluded here, doesn’t he?. I don’t think he’s been staying up on the news from the Deontay front. I mean, Deontay has already said in plain English that he’s NO LONGER accepting the $15 million flat fee offer from Hearn for a Joshua fight. Wilder says from this point forward, he only wants a 50-50 deal for him to fight Joshua, and he said it with conviction. The look on Wilder’s face when he said that was one of steely determination. Deontay is no longer willing to give in to Joshua and Hearn and let them be the A-side in the fight. Wilder wants equal treatment for the Joshua. As such, if Joshua and Hearn want the fight with Wilder, then he’s going to need to come up with the 50-50 deal to make the fight happen. Frankly, I don’t see what the problem is. It’s not as if Joshua isn’t going to make a load of sweet dough for the remainder of his career fighting the likes of Povetkin, Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller, Dillian Whyte, Tyson Fury and Hughie Fury. Joshua is going to make loads of cash regardless if he gives Wilder 50% of the revenue for their fight. It’s not like this is the last fight of Joshua’s career. As Hearn has been blabbering about, Joshua is going to fight another 10 years and rule the heavyweight division with an iron fist. If that vision from Hearn turns out to be correct, then Joshua is going to make a ton of money in the next decade of his career. He doesn’t need to give talents like Wilder lowball flat fee offers in hopes of nickel and diming him. Those offers might work with the average run of the mill fodder opponent that Joshua faces, but it’s clearly not going to work to get Deontay to sign the deal.