Hearn reveals percentages he’ll give Wilder based on Fury PPV numbers
By Scott Gilfoid: Anthony Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn says he’s willing to veer away from the flat fee offers that he’s been giving WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder for a unification fight against AJ on April 13, but his percentage of the loot will depend on how many pay-per-view buys his fight against former heavyweight champion Tyson Fury brings in on December 1.
Hearn isn’t in the position to determine what Wilder’s value is for a fight against Joshua based on his opinion of what his PPV numbers will be for his fight against Tyson Fury. PPV goes for more money in the U.S than it does in the UK. Even if Wilder vs. Fury does less than 1 million, it’ll still rake in tons of dough for both fighters because of the high cost for PPV in the U.S. The tickets are more expensive in the U.S than in the UK, so Wilder-Fury can make a bundle at the smaller 21,000 seat Staples Center in Los Angeles compared to the 70,000 to 90,000 seat stadiums that Joshua has been fighting in Cardiff and London.
Hearn’s decision to go by Wilder’s PPV numbers against Fury to determine his split for Joshua-Wilder is hardly fair. Fury is from the UK, and he’s never fought in the United States, so the casual boxing fans have little idea who he is. To the average casual boxing fans in the States, they don’t view Fury as any different than they any other obscure fighter. The same applies to Joshua. The casual fans in the U.S have no clue who the guy is, and that’s not going to change with him fighting on DAZN. Joshua needs to come over to the U.S and start fighting in Las Vegas, Los Angeles and New York if he wants to build a true following there. He sure as heck isn’t going to build a fan base fighting on DAZN in front of hardcore U.S boxing fans, who already know who he is and are full aware of how Hearn likes to match him. The PPV numbers that Wilder-Fury pulls in on December 1 will strictly be coming from Wilder’s side without any help from Fury. Hearn is being completely unfair in using Wilder vs. Fury to determine the split for Deontay against Joshua.
Hearn says if it does other than 300,000 buys on Showtime pay-per-view, then his offer for a fight against Joshua (22-0, 21 KOs) should be an 80-20 split. In other words, Wilder’s offer will be lower than the 34 percent that Joseph Parker was given for a fight against Joshua last March. Parker isn’t a PPV fighter in the United States, and yet Hearn still gave him a better offer than what he’ll give Wilder for a fight against Joshua if his Fury match doesn’t reach 300,000 buys.
“April 13th at Wembley Stadium, hopefully against Deontay Wilder,” Hearn said to the boxing media when asked who Anthony Joshua will be fighting next. “I heard him come out today and say he [Wilder] wants 60-40. We’re doing everything we can. We’re making calls, asking for meetings, we’re having meetings, we’re making offers, we’re sending contracts, but he then comes out with something like that and you feel like you’re completely wasting your time,” Hearn said about Wilder vs. Joshua negotiations.
Hearn has been recently talking about how Wilder needs to negotiate the fight with Joshua BEFORE his fight against Fury on December 1. Hearn insists that he and Joshua wouldn’t wait until Wilder fought Fury before starting the negotiations. Hearn wanted the deal for the Wilder fight to be done before he faced Fury. The desire for Wilder to sign for a fight against Joshua before he battles Fury is seen by some boxing fans as a slick move by Hearn to get Wilder at a discounted rate, because his popularity is going to shoot through the roof after December 1. Wilder (40-0, 39 KOs) and his management are wisely not going to bother negotiating for the Joshua fight until AFTER the fight against Fury on December 1. If Hearn and Joshua can’t stay patient and wait for the Wilder-Fury fight to be concluded before the negotiations start for the Deontay fight, then that’s on them. It just shows you that they didn’t want the fight in the first place, doesn’t it?
The boxing public wants to know why Hearn is putting on this terrible charade in pretending that Wilder actually has any chance of fighting Joshua on April 13 at Wembley Stadium. It’s obvious that Hearn has already penciled in Dillian Whyte for the April 13 fight against Joshua. Hearn is expected to then match Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller to fight Joshua in September or October. Whyte and Miller are both fighters under Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing umbrella. Those two fights are expected to occupy Joshua’s time in 2019. Just when Hearn will be seriously interested in making the Wilder vs. Joshua fight is anyone’s guess. It obviously isn’t going to be for some time. Hearn
”65-35, 60-40,” Hearn said when asked what percentage split he feels Wilder is worth. ”I think if he knocks out Tyson Fury, and does great pay-per-view numbers, he could get 60-40. 300 [thousand], 200 [thousand], no one knows who Deontay Wilder is,” Hearn said.
Wilder has already made it clear in saying he won’t take less than a 50-50 deal for the Joshua fight. Hearn can squawk about his different percentages that he’s going to offer Wilder based on his PPV buys against Fury, but the reality is that Joshua isn’t going to get the fight against the 6’7″ Deontay unless he gives him the 50-50 split that he’s asking for. Hearn needs to make up his mind whether he’s ready to give Wilder the money or not. Joshua still needs to build his name in the U.S by fighting over there before Hearn can start talking about a fight against Wilder, because that fight still needs a lot of marinating. Unfortunately, Hearn and Joshua are resistant to coming to the U.S to fight over there on a frequent enough basis for him to build a large fan base the way Lennox Lewis did in the 90s. Joshua is content to fight in front of large audiences in football stadiums without branching out to the U.S. As a result, Joshua will never become a big star in the U.S, because having his fights piped in on DAZN isn’t the same thing as it is if he were fighting in the U.S.
“If it does a million plus [buys], we’ll give him 50-50. That’s probably fair enough. If it does under 300,000, he should probably take 80-20. If it does under 400,000, he might get 70-30. If it does over 500 thousand, we’ll give him 60-40,” Hearn said.
No one knows for sure how many PPV buys Wilder vs. Fury will do, but it doesn’t matter. As the World Boxing Council heavyweight champion, which is arguably the most prestigious title in the sport, Wilder is asking for a 50-50 deal with Joshua. If Deontay doesn’t get the fight, then he’s not going to sign for the fight with Joshua. That’s what it’s all about.
Hearn has been complaining about Wilder using Joshua’s name in a name-dropping move to increase his popularity the easy way without a true interest in fighting him. Obviously, this is a crazy way for Hearn to be thinking, since Wilder’s management wouldn’t have offered Joshua $50 million if he wasn’t dead serious about wanting the fight.
“Fury is a great guy,” Hearn said. “Fury has done brilliantly well to get back into the ring. Have you ever seen him in a great fight. No. The only way for him to beat Deontay Wilder is for him to do what he did against [Wladimir] Klitschko, which is to bore the pants off everyone, and hold and grab. But it was a brilliant achievement what he did. He went and beat Klitschko in Germany, so you have to give him credit. But he’s not entertaining to watch, and he got booed out of the ring against [Francesco] Pianeta. That’s what he does. He’s not exciting to watch. He’s going through it, so you have to give him respect,” Hearn said about Fury.