Kownacki potential opponent for Wilder if Joshua fight fails to happen
By Tim Royner: Unbeaten heavyweight contender Adam Kownacki is an option for WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder to fight if a deal can’t be made for him to face IBF/WBA/WBO champion Anthony Joshua later this year in a unification fight. Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn is hoping that a deal can be reached for Wilder and Joshua to fight in November or December.
Kownacki is not the opponent that the fans want to see Wilder fighting later this year, be it on DAZN or on Showtime. The fans want to see Wilder facing Joshua. If not him, then Tyson Fury or Dillian Whyte. It would be huge letdown for the boxing public in the United States if Wilder defends against Kownacki instead of one of the bigger names.
Wilder met with DAZN this week, and he reportedly was offered a three-fight, $100 million deal, according to Mike Coppinger. Part of that deal would involve two fights with Joshua at $40 million per fight. If Wilder doesn’t choose to sign with DAZN, then the hard hitting #5 WBC Kownacki (19-0, 15 KOs) is a potential challenger for him to defend his title against.
While the $100 million might sound like a lot of money, we don’t know what Wilder and his management have estimated how much money would be available to him for each Joshua fight. If they believe that both Joshua fights will generate over $100 million, then agreeing to $40 million per fight might not be the best deal.
Wilder, 33, will be defending his WBC strap next against mandatory Dominic Breazeale (20-1, 18 KOs) on May 18. There’s no getting around that fight for Wilder unless he wants to give Breazeale a step aside payment so that he can face someone else. Wilder probably won’t do there, because there are no big names, other than Joshua, for him to fight. Kownacki, 29, would be an option if things don’t work out with the negotiations for a fight with Joshua.
“If they don’t fight here, I would think he’s probably going to fight Wilder in December, January,” said Kownacki’s manager Keith Connolly to skysports.com. “It all depends on the Wilder-Joshua situation. The plan is to fight Wilder in December, January, but if he fights Joshua, obviously that’s out of the window, and then we would have to wait.”
Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn is hoping that Wilder will sign with DAZN, and then face Joshua in consecutive fights after he takes care of his WBC commitment against mandatory challenger Breazeale on May 18. Hearn wants that fight so bad he can taste it.
Poland born Kownacki has recent victories over Gerald Washington, Artur Szpilka and former IBF heavyweight champion Charles Martin. Kownacki just barely edged Martin by a 10 round unanimous decision last September at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.