Deontay Wilder to meet with DAZN next week
By Scott Gilfoid: Deontay Wilder will be meeting with DAZN Executive Chairman John Skipper next week to discuss him potentially signing with them to have his fights shown on the platform, according to Mike Coppinger. This would be a multi-fight deal that WBC heavyweight champion Wilder (40-0-1,39 KOs) would be exploring with DAZN.
Wilder, 33, already reportedly spoke to Skipper last week, and now he’ll be meeting with him next. Wilder’s co-managers Al Haymon and Shelly Finkel have been advised of his talks with DAZN, and they’ll be present for the meeting along with promoter Lou DiBella. Wilder won’t be using Matchroom Boxing USA/DAZN promoter Eddie Hearn as his contact person to negotiate the deal with DAZN, which is understandable given the problems the two have had in attempting to make the unification fight against the highly popular British fighter IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua.
If Wilder signs on with DAZN, it’ll likely see him getting a HUGE multi-fight contract that’ll make it easier in theory to put a fight together with Joshua in a unification. The two of them facing each other 2-3 times could result in a tremendous amount of boxing fans subscribing to DAZN to bring in a lot of revenue to the company. DAZN could be on their way to changing the way U.S fans, and fans elsewhere around the world, see the sport. Earlier on Friday, the news was released of DAZN signing former middleweight champion Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin to a six-fight, three-year deal that will take him to the end of his career. DAZN already signed superstar two-division world champion Saul Canelo Alvarez to a big 11-fight, 5-year, $365 million contract. If DAZN can add Deontay Wilder to their streaming platform, they would have four of the most popular fighters in boxing signed with them in Wilder, Joshua, Canelo and Golovkin. They also have Oleksander Usyk and Dmitry Bivol signed with them already, and those two could be superstars in the future.
“SOURCES: Deontay Wilder in talks with DAZN, will meet with John Skipper next week. Lou DiBella orchestrated face-to-face between Wilder and Skipper,” Coppinger said on his Twitter. “After Wilder’s phone call with Skipper, Al Haymon and Shelly Finkel were notified. Believed all five parties will meet next week. Lou DiBella knew, given the relationship between Eddie Hearn and the heavyweight titleholder, that no deal could be completed that way. New multi-fight offer expected to be presented by DAZN in-person next week.”
Former heavyweight champion Tyson Fury may have made a mistake in signing with ESPN recently rather than DAZN, because he could be on the outside looking in to a lot of big, big fights on the streaming giant. ESPN has Fury, Kubrat Pulev, Bryant Jennings, Joseph Parker and Oscar Rivas. They could be on the verge of signing heavyweight contender Dillian Whyte. DAZN will have Joshua, Wilder, Big Baby Jarrell Miller and Filip Hrgovic. If Whyte signs with DAZN as well, it would leave very little competition for Fury to fight with his DAZN deal. That might be a good thing for Fury, who arguably should have lost his last fight against Wilder if the referee Jack Reiss had pulled the plug in the 12th round when he was seemingly knocked unconscious for five seconds by Wilder. Some fans say Fury was given a long count. Whatever the case, it sure looked like the fight should have been stopped in that round. Murat Gassiev recently signed with Matchroom Boxing USA promoter Hearn, so his fights will obviously wind up on DAZN as well. The platform is going to have a huge group of talented heavyweights competing on their network before long.
If Wilder stays with SHOWTIME, his next title defense against WBC mandatory Dominic Breazeale (20-1, 18 KOs) will be shown on pay-per-view on May 18, according to Coppinger. That’s going to make it hard on a lot of boxing fans, many of which will also be purchasing the April 20 fight between WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford and Amir Khan on ESPN PPV in the previous month. If Wilder signs a multi-fight deal with DAZN, then presumably his next fight against the 33-year-old Breazeale will be part of the monthly $10 subscription for fans, and it wouldn’t be on SHOWTIME PPV. That would less expensive for fans to see the Wilder-Breazeale fight, as many of them are already complaining that they don’t want to pay to see Wilder defend against the 6’7″ once beaten Breazeale on PPV on SHOWTIME. The fans see that fight as more of a regular SHOWTIME type fight, if it’s going to be televised on that network.
The reason it would be shown on pay-per-view rather than on regular SHOWTIME is because Wilder recently given a $12.5 million offer from Top Rank for him to fight on ESPN against Breazeale, which Deontay is said to have turned down. It wouldn’t make sense for Wilder to turn down the offer from Top Rank and then fight Breazeale on SHOWTIME for less than among. That’s why the Wilder-Breazeale fight would be shown on SHOWTIME PPV in order to give Deontay similar money to what he would have gotten had he accepted the offer from Top Rank to fight with them.
The big positive that could emerge from the 6’7″ Wilder potentially signing with DAZN would be the Joshua fight. This is a match that been brewing for two years now, and the boxing public wants to see the two of them face each other before one of them loses. Both guys are vulnerable, as we’ve seen in the last couple of years. It’s in the best interest for the fans if Wilder signs with DAZN so the Joshua fight can get made while it still matters. Wilder almost lost to Luis Ortiz last year in March, and that would have spoiled everything. Joshua was almost beaten by Wladimir Klitschko in 2017. That’s a fight that Joshua would have lost if Wladimir had the same killer instinct as his older brother Vitali Klitschko, who was known for being a great finisher during his career.