Deontay Wilder explains what’s keep Anthony Joshua fight from happening
By Scott Gilfoid: WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder (40-0-1, 39 KOs) says his team are ready to make the unification fight with IBF/WBA/WBO champion Anthony Joshua (22-0, 21 KOs) as soon as he’s prepared to meet his demands of a 50-50 split right down the middle for a mega-fight between them. Until then, Wilder says he’s going to do his own thing, and progress with his career without Joshua.
Wilder says his team tried to make the fight with Joshua by offering him $50 million, only to be told that he was just kidding around when he named that as his asking price to make the fight happen. Wilder say he agreed to the $15 million flat fee offer by Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn, but he was then told there wasn’t a September late last year for Joshua to fight him. Shortly after being told there was’t a September date for Joshua, Matchroom scheduled him against 39-year-old Alexander Povetkin for September 22, and he subsequently beat him by a 7th round knockout.
“They know what we want; straight down the middle, everything,” Wilder said to Helen Yee Sports in explaining what Joshua and his promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing need to do for a unification match between them to happen. “I don’t care how many [title] belts he has. It’s not about that. It’s about one champion, one face and and one name. For this mega-fight to happen, this is how it’s going to have to be. We tried to take the $15 million flat fee. They moved the goalpost. They said there was no September date. They told us that. They then come around and fought [Alexander] Povetkin on a September date. They did not want to fight. We’re not trying to convince people no more. We know what happened. He [Joshua] said he wanted $50 million. He said that out of his own mouth, and we gave him that to him. So now he’s like, ‘I’m just playing.’ You don’t mess with people’s emotions like that. Boxing is an emotional sport. So when he didn’t accept that, and didn’t agree with me accepting the $15 million, we’re moving on,” Wilder said.
Wilder already moved on last December in fighting Tyson Fury. The two of them will be fighting in a rematch in May, according to Wilder. As for Joshua, Wilder says he’s not going to bother thinking about him. He’s going to do his own thing with his boxing career. If Hearn shows interest in making the fight with him at a later date, he’ll know what Wilder’s asking price is to make the fight. The fact that Hearn isn’t telling the media that he’s willing to give Wilder the 50-50 deal that he’s asking for suggests that he doesn’t want to make the fight happen which is okay. The two heavyweight champions can exist in parallel universes. The heavyweight division is big enough to have two world champions.
“We’re showing him that he’s not the only one in the heavyweight division,” Wilder said. “My career is not based off of him. We’re showing him that we’re still going to progress. We’re still going to be the biggest name in boxing. We’re still going to go do what we got to do. We’re moving on with our career. When they come to their senses and see what the magnitude of this fight is going to be, and they split everything down the middle, then we’re going to have a fight. Until then, it’s not going to be no fight, and I’m fine with that. I tried. My team have tried. You don’t understand how hard we was working on this day and night,” Wilder said.
Wilder and Fury are going to make a lot of noise when they face each other in a rematch in May. Hearn seems like his plan is to try and get some of the same excitement by matching Joshua against the 315 pound American heavyweight Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller in June in New York. That fight might not interest the U.S boxing public like the Wilder vs. Fury II fight will, due to the fans in the States not being too excited about Miller. The problem that Miller has is he didn’t fight on a major network, with millions of subscribers like FOX or SHOWTIME, before he went over to DAZN, which is just starting out. If Miller had been seen a lot fighting good opposition on FOX or SHOWTIME before moving over to DAZN, he’d be a bigger name and a fight between him and Joshua would be a lot bigger than it will be if it takes place in June. Hearn would be better off trying to lure Wladimir Klitchko out of retirement to fight Joshua if he wants AJ to get a lot of attention from the American boxing fans for his next fight in June. Hearn needs a really big name if he wants to get Joshua the kind of attention that will rival the Wilder vs. Fury 2 rematch.