Deontay Wilder explains why he turned down DAZN offer
By Tim Royner: Deontay Wilder has received a lot of criticism from boxing fans for him rejecting an offer from DAZN rumored to be over $100 million to sign with them. However, Wilder says what caused him to turn down the offer from DAZN is because they wouldn’t tell him what Anthony Joshua would be getting for a fight against him. The three-fight deal that Wilder was offered by DAZN had him fighting Joshua twice, and Dominic Breazeale.
Wilder wanted DAZN to let him know exactly what Joshua (22-0, 21 KOs) would be getting for a fight against him so that he could verify that he’s getting a 50-50 deal with the British heavyweight.
Since DAZN wouldn’t tell him with Joshua would be getting for a unification fight against him, World Boxing Council heavyweight champion Wilder (40-0-1, 39 KOs) decided to reject the offer. Wilder was concerned that if he signed the deal with DAZN, Joshua could end up making considerably more than him, but he would never know. Wilder wants visibility for a fight with Joshua, and if he can’t get that, then he won’t take it.
“I said how can you do a deal if you don’t know what the other party is doing?” Wilder said to the Schmo in explaining how he wasn’t told my DAZN how much money Joshua would get if he were to sign with them to fight him. “What if the fight is worth $3, and you’re getting $1? But he’s taking the other share of the pot. I’m lowering my standards. That’s not right,” Wilder said.
With the DAZN deal off the table, Wilder is re-upping with Showtime for big money. It’s supposed to be similar money to the DAZN deal, but if offers Wilder freedom to fight on other networks if need be against the big name fighters like Joshua and Tyson Fury.
Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing is going to try and force Wilder to defend his WBC title against one of his stable fighters in Dillian Whyte. Hearn already met with World Boxing Council president Mauricio Sulaiman to ask the WBO to make Whyte the mandatory for the winner of the May 18 fight between Wilder and Dominic Breazeale fight. What Hearn is hoping that if Wilder is forced to fight Whyte, he could lose to him potentially, and then the WBC would be with one of his Matchroom stable fighters. Hearn would then no longer need to worry about negotiating a fight with Wilder and Joshua. There would be no need for Hearn to give Wilder a 50-50 purse split for a fight against Joshua, because he would no longer be a world champion. Hearn could then match Joshua and Whyte against each other with all four heavyweight titles on the line. The WBC is expected to make a ruling on Hearn’s request to them in the next two weeks. If everything works in Hearn’s favor, the Wilder-Breazeale will be forced to fight Whyte next. That’ll make Hearn happy. Of course, if Whyte gets knocked out by Wilder, that’ll ruin Hearn’s plans, and he’ll be stuck with a devalued Whyte, who he’ll need to rebuild over the course of two or three years to make the British boxing public forget about his loss to Wilder in the same way they eventually forgot about Whyte’s seventh round knockout loss to Joshua in December 2015.
“Like I said, and I’ll say it again; the only way the fight is going to happen is if it’s 50-50,” Wilder said. “I don’t care what it is. At this point in time, it’s not even about the belts no more, baby. As I see it, I’m the most talked about, I’m the hottest fighter in the world right now. I got one belt [WBC], and that means more than any other belt. That’s that green belt. The WBC is the most precious, the most beautiful belt in all boxing…So if they [Joshua and Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn] want a fight and want to be correct, it’s going to go right down the line,” Wilder said.
Hearn was saying months ago that he was willing to offer Wilder a 60-40 purse split for the Joshua fight, plus a rematch with him. That’s not what Wilder wanted though. He wants the 50-50 deal, and unless he gets it, Joshua will have to be satisfied with being the IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight champion, but not the WBC champion. The argument from Joshua’s side is he has three titles and Wilder just one. However, Wilder believes that his WBC title counts for much more than the WBA, IBF and WBO belts. Wilder feels that the WBC title is the most valuable of the four titles, and most prestigious. Since that’s how Wilder feels, Joshua and Hearn are going to need to move along unless they want to give Wilder the 50-50 split that he’s asking for. Hearn’s hope of Whyte relieving Wilder of his WBC title may not pan out. Whyte is a good fighter, but he’s shown in his two fights against Dereck Chisora that he’s pretty much on that level talent-wise. Hearn having Whyte try and do Joshua’s job for him may not workout well. In that case, it’s unclear what Hearn can do to get Wilder to agree to a fight with Joshua other than to give him his asking price of the 50-50 deal. Tyson Fury gave up on the idea of fighting Wilder again when he signed with Top Rank, so he’s out of the picture. Hearn can’t hope that Fury will beat Wilder, because there’s no guarantees that they’ll fight each other ever again.
“Me and Dominic Breazeale have bad blood for each other,” Wilder said in discussing his next opponent for May 18. “So that’s what’s going to make the fight so intense, and that’s what’s going to make the fight so exciting, because of the real bad blood we have for each other. Everyone knows when Deontay Wilder gets in the ring, I have bad intentions for my fighters, even to the point of taking their lives. That’s just the way I work as the ‘Bronze Bomber.’ Dominic Breazeale, you better be ready, baby. You better be getting close with your family every night, because I’m coming. They asking if I’m still knocking mother f—— out; to this day!” said Deontay Wilder.