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Joshua says Wilder can’t enter ring for Povekin fight unless he signs contract for April 13

Alexander Povetkin Anthony Joshua Deontay Wilder Eddie Hearn Joshua vs. Povetkin Joshua vs. Wilder


By Scott Gilfoid: Anthony Joshua says WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder can’ enter the ring before or after his next fight against Alexander Povetkin on September 22 unless he signs the contract for their April 13 fight next year at Wembley Stadium in London, England.

Joshua says he’s signed the contract for the Wilder fight, and all he needs to do is sign his portion. The contract is a flat fee $15 million for Wilder, and not the percentage deal that he’s asking for to sign for the fight. Joshua maintains that Wilder already agreed to the contract previously except for a few areas, and his promoter Eddie Hearn has already changed those areas. The part that Hearn left in was the $15 million flat fee for Wilder. However, Wilder no longer is willing to agree to the flat fee. He wants a 50-50 percentage split. If Wilder agrees to a flat fee of $15 million, he could wind up receiving far less than Joshua.


“Wilder can come to the fight against Povetkin, sure he can, but he also wanted to get in the ring,” Joshua said via givemesport. “But I said, ‘You ain’t getting in the ring unless you sign the contract to fight me. You’re not going to make your name out of this, just sign the contract,’” Joshua said.

I doubt that Wilder will lose any sleep that Joshua isn’t going to let him into the ring unless he signs the contract for the April 13 fight. If this is a ploy on Joshua’s part to try and pressure Wilder to agree to the arguably unfair $15 million flat fee offer, I don’t see it happening. Wilder isn’t going to sign the contract just so he can stand inside the ring with Joshua before or after his next fight against Povetkin. That’s simple-minded stuff. Wilder isn’t going to be bothered in the least about not being able to enter the ring for the Joshua vs. Povetkin fight.

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If Joshua wants to undercut a April 13 fight against Wilder by not allowing him into the ring after his September 22 fight against Alexander Povetkin at Wembley Stadium, then he’s doing the right thing by making sure that Wilder isn’t allowed into the ring. I mean, it wouldn’t be the first time that Joshua wouldn’t allow Wilder into the ring. Wilder wasn’t allowed to come into the ring for Joshua’s recent fights, so this is just a continuation of the process with the Joshua-Povetkin fight.

Like his promoter Hearn, Joshua says Wilder’s $15 million flat fee will remain unchanged. Wilder must accept the offer as it is without it being sweetened in any way shape or form. The deal is what it is. Joshua states the benefits of Wilder agreeing to the deal by saying that it’ll give him his biggest payday of his career, and I’ll enable him a chance to make even more in the rematch if he beats him on April 13. Wilder will need to beat Joshua in his own hometown of London, England on the 13th of April for him to get a chance to make as much as $30 million in the rematch. However, Joshua is expected to make well that kind of money or more in the first fight with Wilder.

There’s a lot of debate about how much Joshua will get if Wilder agrees to the $15 million flat fee instead of insisting that he get a percentage deal. Since there’s absolutely no way of knowing how much money the Joshua-Wilder fight can make on April 13, it would be a foolish thing for Wilder to agree to the $15 million flat fee. If the fight pulls in $100 million, Joshua would walk away with a fortune in comparison. Wilder would look like a sucker if he agreed to the $15 million flat fee in that case?

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The fact that Hearn and Joshua are so persistent that Deontay Wilder and his management accept the $15 million offer suggests that they have a lot to gain in him ageing to that figure. Joshua and Hearn’s stance in refusing to sweeten the offer to Wilder sends alarm bells to some boxing fans that they see weakness in the American, and that he’s not mentally strong enough to walk away from the $15 million flat fee offer. Surely, if Hearn and Joshua believed that Wilder will never agree to the offer, they would sweeten it substantially or walk away and stop bringing his name up so often.

Joshua insists that he HAD to take the fight against Povetkin instead of taking the Wilder fight, because he didn’t want to be stripped of his WBA heavyweight title by the World Boxing Association, who had ordered the Joshua-Povetkin fight after giving a 24 hour deadline for the negotiations for the Joshua-Wilder fight to be concluded. However, the boxing public doesn’t believe Joshua’s excuse for taking the Povetkin fight instead of the Wilder match. They think Joshua was just plain scared of Wilder, so he chose not to have his promoter Hearn take care of the sticking points for the contract by giving a date and location.

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Wilder had agreed to the $15 million flat fee if Joshua had fought him in 2018. But when Joshua chose to move on and face Povetkin instead, Wilder changed his stance, saying he was no longer going to let Joshua take the bigger slice of the pie in a fight against him. Wilder now wanted 50 percent of the loot, and who could blame him? With all the headaches that he’d had to go through in wasting his precious time in trying to negotiate the fight that many felt that Joshua and his promoter Hearn were never serious about wanting to make in the first place, it was now a different story for the next negotiation.

If Joshua wants a chance to win the last remaining heavyweight title not in his possession, he’s going to need to give Wilder his asking price. Joshua and Hearn aren’t going to get Wilder to sign the contract for the fight by urging him to accept the flat fee offer. It’s interesting though how Joshua and Hearn are unable to process the ‘no’ responses that Wilder keeps giving them. You would think they would have understood the first time that Wilder rejected the $15 million flat fee offer for the April 13 fight. It seems more than a little bizarre that Hearn and Joshua keep droning on about wanting Wilder to agree to the flat fee offer for that fight. It just makes them come across as spoiled and unable to comprehend when they’ve not had one of their offers accepted.

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