Hearn says NO Dec.1 deadline for Wilder-Joshua negotiations
By Tim Royner: There isn’t a December 1st deadline for the Anthony Joshua vs. Deontay Wilder negotiations to take place, according to promoter Eddie Hearn, who says that the fight can still be negotiated after Dec.1. Moreover, Hearn also states that Wilder’s manager Shelly Finkel, who he’s now referring to as ‘Shelly Winkel’, has now been removed from the negotiations for the fight due to him being an obstacle to getting the Joshua-Wlder fight made. Hearn says he’s now talking to Wilder co-manager Al Haymon to try and put the fight together.
All Hearn is asking for is Wilder’ management begin negotiations now so that they have a good head start with the talks for April 13 fight rather than waiting until After Deontay’s December 1 fight against Tyson Fury to begin talks. Hearn says the negotiations for the Joshua-Wilder fight will take as long as two months, and he doesn’t want to wait because Joshua has a World Boxing Organization mandatory that will come due at the end of October.
”There’s no such thing as a December 1st deadline,” Hearn said about the December 1st deadline that he previously mentioned wanting the Wilder vs. Joshua negotiations to be done by. ”All we’re asking for is open talks for Wilder. When you have a manager who is refusing to have a conversation about an undisputed world heavyweight championship fight.”
The reason Finkel has chosen not to meet with Hearn is the offer that he’s made hasn’t been in the ballpark that they’re looking for Wilder to get, according to rumors. Hearn says he’s sweetened the original $15 million flat fee offer and is now giving Wilder a percentage deal. However, that might not mean a whole lot, because Joshua’s last opponent Joseph Parker received a percentage deal that was significantly lower than what AJ received. If Hearn’s offer for Wilder is 55-45 of 60-40, it’s possible that a fight can get made. Hearn needs to make a high enough offer not to insult Wilder and his management, and it’s not looking like he’s willing to do that. Hearn is too accustomed to having negotiations his own way. Team Wilder doesn’t want to accept a low percentage offer for a fight they know will bring in a tremendous amount of money, thanks to Deontay.
“Fans have to be thick not to think that Anthony Joshua doesn’t want that fight? Hearn said. “How do you expect to make a fight when your adviser won’t even have a discussion about it? He emailed four days ago saying he didn’t want to meet. We’re not interested in getting the fight done by December 1st, but we know if we wait to start our negotiations until after December 1st, it’s not going to get done in a week or even two weeks or three weeks. It’s going to take time,” Hearn said.
Hearn could be wrong about his predictions of how long the negotiations will take for the Joshua vs. Wilder fight. As long as Hearn is making an offer that is to Team Wilder’s liking, they can probably wrap up the negotiations quickly in December. Wilder and his management have no reasons to want the fight negotiations to be prolonged. If the negotiation is to their liking, Wilder and his team will agree to it for the Joshua fight. Offering Wilder a flat fee for the Joshua fight looks to some like Hearn hasn’t been serious about wanting to make the fight. Joseph Parker was given a 33% split for his March 31 fight against Joshua, and Wilder wasn’t even given that kind of a deal. There’s more money in a Joshua-Wilder fight than what Joshua made fighting Parker. So the question is, why has Hearn been offering Wilder a flat fee of $15 million for a fight that could make over $100 million? Wilder would be getting a 15% split if he agrees to a $15 million flat fee. That’s considerably less money than what Parker made fighting Joshua. A mandatory challenger gets a 25% split for fights against world champions. With Wilder possibly getting just a 15% split, it looks like Hearn wants to get over on him by taking advantage of his desperation to fight Joshua. It’s either that or Hearn doesn’t want to mae the Joshua vs. Wilder fight.
“I’ve had positive conversations this week,” Hearn said of the Joshua-Wilder negotiations. “This week, we’ve had to remove Shelly Winkel [Finkel], because the relationship is so bad. Shelly doesn’t like me, but he’s even lost the plot with my dad. So we’ve had to remove Shelly Winkel out of the conversation, and go on a different way and we’ve had come great conversations this week. We’re not saying we have to do the deal tonight, tomorrow or next week. We’re just saying let’s talk about it,” Hearn said.
Hearn is saying that Finkel has been removed from the Joshua vs. Wilder negotiations, but that may not be so. Until Wilder comes out and says the same thing, you have to see this as more talk on Hearn’s part in hopes of getting Finkel out of the picture due to him having a poor relationship with the long-time manager. It wouldn’t be surprising if Finkel is still the lead negotiator for Team Wilder for the Joshua-Wilder negotiations.
“No one else knows who he is,” Hearn said in complaining that boxing fans aren’t familiar with Wilder. “So you use the biggest guy in world boxing [Joshua] to promote you and improve your profile, and he’s done a brilliant job. Wilder vs. Fury, if it happens, is a really good fight to find out who the second best heavyweight in the world. It’s not the fight they’re crying for. The one they’re crying for is Joshua-Wilder, and we ,must make it happen,” Hearn said.
Hearn is obviously trying to devalue Wilder so that he’ll agree to take a lesser split in the Joshua negotiations. Of course, the boxing world knows who Deontay Wilder is. If a fans is any kind of fan for the sport of boxing, then they know who Wilder is. Wilder vs. Fury is being promoted on it’s own without any help from Joshua. They’re not name dropping Joshua’s name to make their fight bigger.
“The only way Fury can beat Wilder is to bore him to sleep, and hold him and frustrate him,” Hearn said. “He can’t probably knock Deontay Wilder out. He’s not fit, and he’s not ready. The Joshua-Wilder fight is a barn-burner. It could end either way. We know that. Joshua wants to knock Wilder out, and he will, trust me. All of a sudden our offer was so bad that they agreed to it in writing. We came back and asked for a meeting, and they said, ‘No.’ Last week, we made an offer, which was a percentage split with a 2-fight rematch deal. If Anthony Joshua wins, Deontay Wilder still gets a fight against him in America. Whatever they think about the deal, they still say we’re not interested in meeting. So that tells you everything you need to know abut them. Al Haymon doesn’t really say a lot. He’s a bright guy. I’m sure he wants to make the fight happen, and we’ll talk to him because we can’t make any leeway with Shelly Winkel. All we can do is to try and make the fight happen If we didn’t want the fight, then why would we even ask to meet. We can’t wait until December. We have a mandatory that’s coming up the end of October with the WBO. The fight is going to take a month or two months to try and negotiate anyway, so why not have a conversation,” Hearn said.
Hearn says the Wilder vs. Joshua fight can end either way, but then in the next breath he states that Joshua will knock Wilder out. The two-way rematch clause is a good step forward for Hearn to show that he wants to make the Joshua vs. Wilder fight.
“We want the biggest fight in world boxing, which is Deontay Wilder [vs. Anthony Joshua], but if they continue to not want the fight, we’re going to look at other options,” Hearn said. ”If we fight in the UK, we’re probably looking at Dillian Whyte. If we’re fighting in the United States, then are absolute choice is Jarrell Miller. That’s a big fight,” Hearn said about Joshua vs. Miller. ”Jarrell Miller is gaining credibility, he’s staying active and becoming a real force in the division, and I’m not sure there are many heavyweights out there that will beat Jarrell Miller,” Hearn said.