Hearn rejects Wilder’s 60-40 demand for Joshua fight
By Scott Gilfoid: Eddie Hearn categorically rejected WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder’s demand for a 60-40 split in his favor for a fight against IBF/WBA/WBO champion Anthony Joshua (22-0, 21 KOs), saying, “don’t waste my time” and labeling him as “boring” for wanting a better split of the loot after he knocks out Tyson Fury on December 1.
What Hearn isn’t saying is that his pitiful $15 million flat fee that he’s been offering Wilder for the Joshua fight is unquestionably lower than the 66-34 split that former World Boxing Organizatio heavyweight champion Joseph Parker was given for a fight against AJ last March. Wilder’s flat fee of $15 million amounts to be a split from 80-20 to 85-15 in Joshua’s favor depending on how successful the fight is. The offer Hearn has been insisting that Wilder accept suggests strongly that he simply doesn’t want to let Joshua fight the 6’7″ talent.
“I’m sick of these idiots out there who think he wants the fight,” Hearn complained to IFL TV about about the many boxing fans who strongly believe Joshua is ducking the Wilder fight by failing to offer him a fair deal, rejecting a $50 million offer, and then dropping out of negotiations to fight 39-year-old Alexander Povetkin for much less money. “How stupid do you have to be to think Deontay Wilder wants the fight. Just listen to what he’s saying. Boring. ‘I want 60-40.’ F–k off! You haven’t earned $3 million bucks for f–k’s sake. You can walk into any city or any town and ask who Deontay Wilder is and they wouldn’t have a clue. He ain’t even going to do 300 buys on Showtime [for the Tyson Fury fight on December 1],” Hearn said in bellyaching about Wilder wanting more money for the Joshua fight than what he’s willing to give him.
Wilder’s reasoning for wanting a bigger split than Joshua is simple. Once Deontay beats Tyson Fury (27-0, 19 KOs) by knockout on December 1, his popularity is going to soar to heights the boxing world hasn’t seen since Muhammad Ali’s era, and the fans worldwide are going to be all over him. Look at it this way; if Wilder poleaxes Fury on December the 1st, the win is going to send huge shockwaves through the boxing world, causing fans to jump aboard the Wilder hype train and become instant fan. Wilder’s one-punch power, charisma, personality and cat-like reflexes will make him a huge star overnight once he sends Fury reeling. It’s only obvious that Wilder would want to ask for his fair share of the sweet cash that he helps bring in. I mean, if you’re the guy that is the reason why the U.S and UK boxing public are interested in purchasing the fight on PPV, then why wouldn’t he want to ask for a fair share. For the record, Wilder isn’t asking for a 60-40 split like Hearn is babbling about. Wilder only said that he would deserve a 60-40 split in his favor for the Joshua fight once he whips Fury, but he would agree to a 50-50 split for the sake of the boxing fans in order to get the AJ fight done. Wilder obviously knows that Joshua and Hearn would never agree in a trillion years to a 60-40 deal, so he’s not going there in asking for that kind of dough. Wilder just wants a nice 50-50 split, and you can argue that’s more than share. I hate to say it, but the American boxing fans as a whole have no clue who the bodybuilder look alike Joshua is. It doesn’t matter than Joshua’s fights will soon be streamed on DAZN, he’s still going to be an unknown with the U.S boxing fans, because they’re not going to subscribe in high numbers to watch him beat up on slappers like Dillian Whyte or fat heavyweights like the 317 pound Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller.
“After this Fury fight, for me in my mind, f*** 50/50 it’s 60/40 [in my favor], but to make this fight happen for the fans, I’m willing to do 50/50. It ain’t gonna go no lower than that.” Wilder said to ThaBoxingVoice.
So there it is. Wilder ISN’T asking for a 60-40 split for the Joshua fight. He’s only asking for a 50-50 split. All Hearn’s drama and bellyaching about Wilder wanting a 60-40 split for the Joshua fight looks like he’s just trying to play to the public so that he can continue to offer him the same $15 million flat fee that he’s been offering him.
The real way to solve the negotiations with Wilder is to have a certain threshold of money that comes in that would go to Deontay. For example, if Wilder helps the fight bring in at least $75 million, then he gets half of the loot at 50-50. If the fight brings in less than $75 million, then Joshua gets slightly more money at 55-45 or so. The reason why Wilder would deserve a 50-50 deal for the fight if it brings in $75 million to $100 million is that all that extra money would clearly be due to his popularity. If you look at what Joshua typically brings in, he’s not making the kind of money that you would see from a Wilder fight. As such, all the extra cash that a fight against Wilder brings in shows that he’s the one that is the reason for the extra money.
“You want 60-40. Idiot,” Hearn said. “Don’t waste our time to use Joshua’s name to try and gain a profile and publicity. It’s a waste of time, waste of my life. Maybe he’s just saying it? Who knows? But if that’s what he really thinks, then don’t waste my time. I’m really busy. These are time wasters. I want someone that wants to fight Joshua, not talk about it to try and raise their profile. ‘There’s only one Deontay Wilder. Bomb squad.’ You’re the only person that says that. There’s only one Deontay Wilder, and nobody knows who the f–k he is. It’s just so draining. All we do is chase. All we do is make approaches. All we do is make offers,” Hearn said.
It sounds like Hearn doesn’t want to make the Joshua vs. Wilder fight, doesn’t it? That’s fine. Hearn can continue to match Joshua against the guys he’s been doing, and eventually the boxing fans are going to tire of the mismatches and stop tuning in due to him not facing Wilder.
Hearn thinks it makes a difference that Joshua has three heavyweight titles and Wilder only one. I’m sorry but in this day and age, it doesn’t matter how many belts a fighter has. That’s not how boxing fans judge whether they like a fighter or not. The numerous sanctioning bodies has ruined what it means to be a world champion by their many world titles. There’s six or more titles that can be won at heavyweight, and it doesn’t mean a whole heck of a lot to be a world champion now like it used to in the 50s. Look at the Saul Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin for a good example of that. Despite Golovkin being the IBF/IBO/WBA/WBC middleweight champion in his first fight against Canelo in 2017, he ended up with the short end of the stick with a 70-30 split. Joshua could have all four titles and Wilder none, and it still wouldn’t mean that he deserves a bigger purse split than the Bronze Bomber. This is about entertainment value, and unfortunately for Joshua, Wilder is more exciting than him in the eyes of the boxing public due to his explosive power.