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Hearn says Joshua-Wilder MUST be negotiated before Dec.1 Wilder-Fury fight

Anthony Joshua Deontay Wilder Tyson Fury

By Scott Gilfoid: Eddie Hearn has put what appears to be huge roadblock in front of the Anthony Joshua vs. Deontay Wilder fight from happening on April 13 by him saying that the Joshua-Wilder fight must be negotiated before Deontay’s December bout against Tyson Fury.

Hearn said last Saturday night at the Joshua-Alexander Povetkin post-fight press conference that he’s not going to “wait around” until the Wilder vs. Fury fight to take place on December 1st in order to start the negotiations for the Joshua-Wilder fight.

Hearn insists that the negotiations for the Joshua vs. Wilder fight must be completed BEFORE the Wilder-Fury takes place on December 1. In other words, Hearn wants the Joshua-Wilder fight to be negotiated in a way here Wilder won’t have the benefit of coming off a big victory over Fury going into the negotiations.

It weakens Wilder’s position dramatically if his management must negotiate a fight with Joshua before he faces Fury instead of after. It’s a predictable move by Hearn to try and force Wilder to start negotiating the Joshua fight before he faces Fury on December 1 rather than afterwards. What this will likely lead to is Joshua facing Hearn fighter Dillian Whyte on April 13 instead of Wilder.

Hearn likely won’t insist that Whyte start negotiations with Joshua before his December 22 fight with Dereck Chisora. That’ll make Hearn look bad if he let’s Whyte face Chisora before he begins the Joshua-Whyte negotiation rather than insisting that the negotiations begin and end before the Whyte-Chisora fight on the 22nd of December.

“Presumably, Wilder will have a rematch clause [for Fury fight]. So obviously being British, we’d like to see Tyson Fury win the fight,” Hearn said at the post-fight press conference last Saturday night following Joshua’s win over Povetkin. “But in terms of April, Deontay Wilder must win that if that’s going to happen. We’re not willing to wait until December. We can wait until December to see, but a deal must be done well in advance of that subject to winning that bout. The offer [$50 million] they made to us will look like peanuts when this fight is made, but you have to keep winning. Who do I want to see win that fight [Wilder-Fury] in terms of Anthony Joshua? It’s Deontay Wilder, because it’s the biggest fight in world boxing. Fury-Wilder is the biggest fight to find out who is the second biggest heavyweight in the world,” Hearn said.

The way that Hearn is setting up conditions for the Joshua-Wilder fight to take place on April 13 by saying the negotiations must begin and end before Wilder’s December 1 fight with Fury, I think it’s safe to say that Eddie doesn’t want the fight for Joshua.

If Hearn does want the Joshua-Wilder fight for that date, then he’s trying to weaken Wilder’s hand in such a way where he won’t come into the negotiations for the Joshua fight in as strong a position as he would if he were riding high with a knockout win over the 6’9″ Fury.

Considering that Joshua’s next fight isn’t until April 13, there’s more than enough time for the Joshua-Wilder fight to get negotiated after the December 1st Wilder-Fury fight. There would still be four months before the April 13 fight, and that’s more than enough time to get the Wilder vs. Joshua fight negotiated and marketed to the UK boxing public. Joshua-Wilder is a fight that sells itself just like Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao sold itself and didn’t need months and months of hype.

The question is why does the Joshua vs. Wilder mega-fight need to be agreed on before December 1? What’s golden about that date? Hearn’s fighter Whyte is facing Dereck Chisora on December 22 in the UK. Will Hearn insist that Whyte negotiate the Joshua fight for April 13 before he faces Chisora in December? It’s obviously a much different situation though with Whyte, as he won’t get much of a bump up in popularity by beating Chisora compared to Wilder if he defeats the unbeaten Fury. As such, Whyte’s negotiating muscle won’t be improved dramatically with a win over Chisora, because he’s been inconsistent during his career and he’s lost pretty much every time he’s stepped up a class. Whyte won’t be able to demand a bigger purse for the Joshua fight and have a realistic change of getting it if he beats Chisora.

Hearn’s comment about insisting that the negotiations between Joshua and Wilder be concluded by December 1 before Deontay’s fight with Fury is a signal to the boxing public that Whyte will be the one that Joshua fights on April 13. Wilder’s manager Shelly Finkel might as well put Hearn on ignore, because his statement last Saturday in giving Wilder’s management what amounts to be a deadline for the Joshua-Wilder negotiations is the clearest sign that he doesn’t want the fight. Finkel might as well forget about Joshua and have Wilder focus on possibly setting up a rematch with Fury if their December 1 fight is a competitive one. even if wilder destroys Fury, a lot of boxing fans will want to see a rematch between them.

This move by Hearn looks like a textbook way for him to try and get Wilder to agree to a lesser rate for a Joshua fight in April than he would get if he defeats the 29-year-old Fury. Wilder can ask for more money from Joshua after he beat Fury, especially if he knocks him out cold.

Joshua already looks like he’s ducking the Wilder fight. Joshua and Hearn’s move of ending Wilder a signed contract with the same $15 million flat fee that was offered to him for September of this year is a signal from AJ that he doesn’t want any part of fighting Deontay. When you know Wilder is going to be worth a heck of a lot more after he smashes Fury to bits, it makes Joshua look bad that he sent him the same $15 million contract for April 13 as he did for the failed negotiations for a September fight. The negotiations only failed because Hearn pulled Joshua out of them and had him fight Alexander Povetkin instead. If Hearn had stuck it out, he would have completed the negotiations with Wilder last June and it would have been him that fought Joshua last Saturday night rather than Povetkin.

The real question is why does Hearn need the Joshua-Wilder deal to be completed before December 1? Isn’t there enough time for the Joshua vs. Wilder negotiations to be done in December for the fight to be a major success on April 13 at Wembley Stadium and on Sky Box Office PPV and DAZN?

Wilder’s bargaining power will go up in a huge way if he knocks Fury out and Hearn obviously knows that. The pay-per-view numbers in the U.S could be huge for the Wilder-Fury fight, and that would help strengthen Wilder’s hand in asking for the 50 percent cut of the revenue that he’s currently demanding for a Joshua fight. If Hearn can get Wilder to agree to negotiate for the Joshua fight before he faces Fury, he would get him in a weaker position where he might not be able to get anymore than 30 percent. But if Wilder destroys Fury in the early rounds of their fight, then he’s suddenly in position to ask for 50% of the revenue for the Joshua fight and get it. Hearn was offering Deontay $12.5 million initially and then moved it up to $15 million, which is a number that he’s refused to budge from. Even if the fight brings in less than $100 million at $75 million, Wilder would be getting only a 20% cut of the revenue if he agreed to the $15 million flat fee offered to him by Hearn and Joshua.

Wilder would be getting less than the 32.5% that former WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker received for the Joshua fight. Hearn’s $15 million offer to Wilder and his insistence that he negotiate the fight before his December 1 fight with Fury shows pretty clearly that he’s having Joshua duck the fight. If Wilder does agree to negotiate for the Joshua fight before he faces Fury, then Hearn will be getting him at a discounted rate that would greatly hurt Deontay.

Wilder isn’t going to sign off for a fight with Joshua before the Fury fight on December 1, because there is obviously a rematch clause in the contract. Wilder isn’t going to sign for a Joshua fight without knowing how his fight with Fury will play out.

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