Wilder wins Joshua poll, Whyte with just 5% of votes
By Scott Gilfoid: The boxing pubic has spoken in picking Deontay Wilder as the opponent they want Anthony Joshua to face in his next fight on April 13 at Wembley Stadium in London, UK. Wilder captured 53% of the vote in Joshua’s Twitter poll to pick his next opponent. Not surprisingly, the runner up was Tyson Fury with 42%, and trailing the back in dead last was Matchroom Boxing stable fighter Dillian Whyte at just 5% of the vote.
The results of Joshua’s poll has to be viewed as disappointing for his promoter Eddie Hearn, because he’s eager to have Whyte (24-1, 17 KOs) face him on April 13 if Wilder doesn’t agree to the $15 million flat fee offer to take the fight, which appears will be the case. Hearn needs a high level opponent to help sell tickets for the giant 90,000 seat Wembley Stadium and to bring in subscribers to DAZN in the States and to bring in he buys on Sky Box Office.
Whyte, 30, has already fought Joshua and lost to him just three years ago. Unfortunately, Whyte hasn’t done much to redeem himself since then in beating Dereck Chisora and Joseph Parker by controversial decisions in fights that easily could have gone the other way. The Parker fight was especially interesting because of the 2nd round head-butt knockdown Whyte was given credit for, and for the fouling that he got away with.
With a good referee working that fight, we could be talking about a three to four point swing in Parker’s favor with the 2nd round knockdown waived off, and two to three point deductions to Whyte for rabbit punches, low blows and shoving. The fight was more like an MMA affair with Whyte roughing Parker up than a boxing match in my estimation.
Wilder’s co-manager Shelly Finkel, in speaking abou the poll that Deontay won for the Joshua fight, says boxing public has spoken and they clearly want to see Joshua-Wilder on April 13. Finkel thinks Joshua’s team doesn’t give a fig what the fans want.
Cast your votes! 🗳 #AJBXNG
— Anthony Joshua (@anthonyfjoshua) September 23, 2018
“Team Joshua does not care what fight the public that supports them wants,” Finkel said to skysports.cm. “If they did, they would follow the poll they created to determine who the public wants Joshua to fight next. The public spoke and Joshua hid.”
So there it is. Finkel says that Joshua and his team aren’t following the poll from the fans by setting up a fight with the winner Wilder.
The fans may not like it, but it sure as heck looks like the 28-year-old Joshua will be fighting Dillian Whyte next on April 13. Whyte is the likely opponent for Joshua (22-0, 21 KOs) to fight at Wembley Stadium in London. At this point, it would take some major reversal in the way Hearn has been negotiating with Team Wilder to make the Joshua-Wilder fight happen by April. It would be nice if Hearn and Joshua paid attention to the Twitter poll and negotiated the fight with Wilder, but it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen. I get the impression that easy money and safety are their overriding concerns, which is why they’ll likely opt for the easy money fight against the slapper Whyte rather than take on Wilder, who has the concussive force to knock Joshua out.
I think it’s been clear for months that Whyte is going to be the guy that will wind up facing Joshua on April 13. I expect this trend of Joshua swerving Wilder will continue for the next two or three years until the boxing public is fed up and stop buying his fights. If the fans continue to purchase Joshua’s fights in high numbers, then we might not see the Wilder fight until the Alabama native loses or starts to look like a shot fighter. Wilder might age better than Joshua though, so he could still be punching with power and speed well into his 40s. Wilder’s think gazelle-like physique suggests that he’s going to be able to stay at the top a lot longer than Joshua with his bodybuilder physique. All those heavy muscles are hard to lug around, and he could wind up starting to age badly in his early 30s if not sooner. If the idea is for Team Joshua to try and age Wilder, I think it’s going to work in reverse, because he’s not showing signs of aging, and he may be one of those Bernard Hopkins type fighters that is able to fight at a high level for a long time.
Hearn said last weekend that he was going to talk about improving the $15 million flat fee offer that he previously gave to Wilder. You’d have to assume that if Hearn was serious about making the Joshua-Wilder fight for April 13, they would have already sent the improved offer to Team Wilder. The fact that Wilder’s co-manager Finkel doesn’t even want to meet with them until they sweeten the offer suggests that Hearn hasn’t given him the improved offer. If Hearn did, the offer must be so low that Finkel considers it a complete waste of time to meet with the British promoter’s father Barry Hearn in October. I don’t know what’s so difficult for Hearn to sweeten the offer. Hearn needs to realize that the money Joshua will get with a 50-50 deal will be a heck of a lot more than what he can fighting fighters like Whyte and Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller, who figure to be his next two opponents.
The fact that Joshua was able to pack Wembley Stadium with boxing fans last Saturday for his fight against 39-year-old Alexander Povetkin indicates that he really doesn’t need a big name for him to sell tons of tickets for his large stadium fights. The British fans will still come see him fight even if he’s facing non-stars. That’s bad news for the true boxing fans that want to see Joshua face the best talents like Wilder and Tyson Fury. If Hearn sees that he can make money over fist having Joshua fight lesser guys, then why would he need to offer a fair deal to the likes of Wilder and Fury to fight him? Hearn can basically continue to give Wilder flat fee offers forever at this rate, and Joshua will still make massive cash fighting the lesser guys.