Deontay Wilder claims promoter Eddie Hearn is avoiding putting the mega-fight together between him and former heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua because he lacks confidence “in his product.”
AJ is the last money-maker in Hearn’s Matchroom stable and doesn’t want to risk losing the only guy he has left that fans are interested in seeing in high numbers.
With Canelo Alvarez gone from Hearn’s stable, he’s just got old Joshua left to hold up the fort and is pretty much out of ammo at this point.
It looks like the gravy train is about over for Hearn, with the 34-year-old Joshua just a mental shell of the fighter he once was and possibly doomed in his fight against Otto Wallin on December 23rd in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
If Wilder defeats Hearn’s #1 money fighter Joshua (26-3, 23 KOs), no one would be left, especially if Devin Haney is exposed this weekend by WBC light welterweight champion Regis Prograis.
Does Hearn have a replacement for Joshua?
Who would be left in Hearn’s Matchroom stable to be his flagship guy to bring in the cold hard cash like AJ has been routinely doing since he turned pro after winning his controversial gold medal in the 2012 London Olympics?
Potential replacements for Joshua in Hearn’s table:
– Sonny Edwards
– Edgar Berlanga
– Diego Pacheco
– Regis Prograis
– Subriel Matias – *potential Hearn fighter
– Dmitry Bivol
– Joseph Cordina
– Leigh Wood
– Lamont Roach
– Raymond Ford
As you can see, the cupboard is bare for Hearn’s Matchroom stable regarding a money-making replacement for Joshua. None of those guys will bring in the boatloads of sweet cash AJ routinely brought in for his fights against primarily older heavyweights on their last legs and no-hopers.
“He don’t want that fight because he’s not confident in his product,” Deontay Wilder said to Brian Custer’s YouTube channel about Eddie Hearn dodging making the fight between him and Anthony Joshua.
“Joshua is the only money-making fighter Matchroom has. They don’t want to see their business fall to the likes of me, someone that can end someone’s career.”
Charles Brun hates to say it, but Wilder is 100% right about Hearn. The years haven’t been kind to Joshua, as he’s aged something fierce, and he’s not what he used to be when he was beating up fringe contenders like 40-year-old Alexander Povetkin, Joseph Parker, Eric Molina, Carlos Takam, Dominic Breazeale, and 40-year-old Kubrat Pulev.
AJ’s popularity has diminished greatly
It’s fair to say that the popularity that Joshua & Wilder once enjoyed has poorly diminished due to a combination of defeats, weak match-making, and inactivity.
Most importantly, these two haven’t given the fans the fights they wanted to see. Instead of fighting the best, Deontay and Joshua have been feasting against lower-level opposition, giving fans horrible fights that are not remotely entertaining.
For example, Joshua’s last two fights have come against 39-year-old Robert Helenius & Jermaine Franklin, both fringe-level contenders. Indeed, Franklin was coming off a loss to the played-out journeyman Dillian Whyte.
Wilder’s last fight was a year ago against Helenius, and that’s his only win since 2019. Given his lack of inactivity and wins, is it any surprise that the boxing public has forgotten about Wilder?
Hearn can’t afford to lose his golden goose
“He’s a businessman, and he’s not going to put his business on the line for something that he’s not sure of,” Wilder said about Hearn. “He knows that if I get in the ring with Joshua, I will knock him out. And he can’t afford to have his golden boy lose.”
What could ultimately force Hearn to make the Joshua vs. Wilder fight is the Saudis. If they insist on the fight happening, Hearn will give in and finally let AJ face his destiny.
Eddie can’t possibly avoid it if the Saudis want that fight. They’ll make it worthwhile for Joshua & Hearn to make the fight with Wilder, and even if AJ gets blown out of the water by Deontay’s 50-caliber right-hand guns.
There’s always a possibility that Joshua could get lucky and land one of his big shots before Wilder has unleashed his heavy artillery, but considering how timid AJ has looked in recent fights, I’d that that’s unlikely to happen.