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Joshua says he’s “begging” for Wilder fight

Image: Joshua says he's "begging" for Wilder fight

By Scott Gilfoid: After watching WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury hog the limelight with their highly popular fight earlier this month on December 1 on Showtime PPV, IBF/WBA/WBO champion Anthony Joshua now says he’s “begging” for a fight against Deontay.

Joshua had recently ruled out a fight against Fury due to him not holding a world title belt. Joshua is now saying he’s willing to fight Fury on April 13. Joshua isn’t saying way he changed his mind, but it likely has to do with the lack of interest in his promoter Eddie Hearn’s idea of matching him against Dillian Whyte on April 13.

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It’s interesting that Joshua, 28, is now talking up a fight with Wilder when it seems clear that he’s going to be fighting Tyson Fury in a rematch. That’s a classic move in the view of a lot of boxing fans. They wonder why only now Joshua is sitting up and making noise about wanting to fight Wilder when he’s clearly going to be fighting a rematch with Tyson Fury in the first half of next year. Is Joshua showing interest in fighting Wilder now because he really wants to fight him on April 13 or is he talking up the fight because he knows he won’t be available to take the fight?

“Begging? Yeah I am begging. I want to become undisputed champion of the world. I’m hungry for it, so yeah, I am begging for it,” Joshua said to IFL TV about Wilder saying he’s practically begging now for the fight on April 13.

Joshua says his main objective is to beat Deontay to become the unified undisputed heavyweight champion. Joshua feels that collecting all the heavyweight titles will validate him in the eyes of the boxing public in making them feel he’s the best fighter in the division. The thing is, Joshua is at an impasse as far as him getting a chance to win all the titles. Since he and his promoter Eddie Hearn haven’t given Wilder the 50-50 split that he’s asking for in order to make the fight, they’re stuck in a position where they’re going to have to be satisfied with the three titles that they have.

Wilder isn’t going to give in and accept the $15 million flat fee or the 70-30 split that Hearn will try and continue to get him to agree to. Since Joshua doesn’t seem like he’s going to ever agree to give Wilder the purse split he’s asking for, Joshua will need to be happy with the three straps that his promoter Hearn helped him get by luring Charles Martin, Wladimir Klitschko and Joseph Parker to come over to the UK to fight him in front of his fans. Joshua has gotten kind of spoiled with the way that Hearn has gotten him every fight that he’s wanted, and it’s always been in the UK. Joshua never had to risk his hide by going to the U.S or to Germany to take a chance of fighting in front of a hostile crowd.

It’s nice to hear Joshua speaking for himself for a change rather than letting his promoter Eddie Hearn do all the talking for him all this time. The way that Joshua has seemed do disengaged when it comes to talking about the Wilder fight, it’s come across to many like he wanted absolutely nothing to do with the 6’7″ American knockout artist from Alabama.

Joshua mouthing off about wanting to fight Wilder badly for April 13 would come across a lot better if Deontay wasn’t practically committed to the rematch with Fury (27-0-1, 19 KOs) for early 2019. Fury and Wilder are not going to be able to fight Joshua on April 13, so the way that he’s talking up a fight against both of them now sounds a heck of a lot like a textbook case of name dropping in order get some badly needed attention. You have to wonder whether Joshua’s wily promoter Hearn gave him his marching orders to call out Wilder and Fury nonstop for the April 13 fight so that the boxing public starts paying attention to him. Joshua has pretty much been the forgotten man in the last several months since Fury and Wilder locked up for their December 1 fight.

Now that Wilder-Fury fight is in the rear-view mirror, the boxing public are still talking about them, and not so much about Joshua, who is now seen more as an interviewer guy on the interview circuit rather than being perceived as a fighter. That’s what happens when a fighter stops facing good opposition. The fans forget about the fighter, and start paying attention to other contenders and champions that are willing to fight the best.

Before Wilder took on Fury, you could barely get a peep from Joshua about a fight against Deontay. It’s interesting how things have changed with Joshua now that Wilder and Fury have received so much attention from the boxing world for their fight on December. Wilder-Fury have taken the world by storm, and they’re now ramping up for another big money fight that will once again catch the boxing world’s imagination. What can Joshua offer up? Knowing Hearn, he’s going to trot out Whyte again for Joshua to fight, and the fans are going to be put to sleep with another mismatch between Joshua and a flabby slapper with a bad shoulder.

It likely also has to do with the slim chance of a fight with Wilder being made. Wilder a 50-50 purse split for the Joshua fight, that’s way out of range for what Hearn is willing to give him for the fight. At best, Hearn will likely give Wilder a 70-30 offer, and then try and sweeten that by making it a 2-fight deal. It works well for Joshua getting 70 percent of the revenue, and with the most important first fight taking place in England rather than the U.S or a neutral country.

If Joshua is serious about wanting to fight Wilder, he needs to get on the phone with Hearn and give him his marching orders to give Wilder a purse split that he’ll agree to. He’s obviously never going to agree to the $15 million flat fee offer Hearn has been trying to get him to sign for. Wilder has said repeatedly that he won’t accept that deal. If Hearn wants to increase the flat fee to match the projected $100 million the Wilder vs. Joshua is expected to rake, then that would be in the neighborhood of $50 million smackers. You can argue that there’s a good chance that Wilder would ink a contract if Hearn gave him a $50 million flat fee offer, but he sure as heck isn’t going to go for the $15 million flat fee that Eddie has been offering. If the fight generates $100 million like some believe it’ll do, then Joshua walks away with $85 million to Wilder’s $15 million. That deal is a crime. Joshua would get a royal deal with an 85/15 split for a fight against Wilder. That’s why Hearn needs to do what he has to in order to make the Wilder-Joshua fight, and that’s to give Deontay a fair deal so the fight can get made for the boxing world.

There’s a good chance that Wilder and Joshua will fight each other in the future, but it will likely only take place until after one or both of them lose.

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