Wilder, Joshua agree to fight deal

Rex Christensen
June 12, 2018

Wilder had previously attempted to lure Joshua to fight in the United States with a $50m offer, but Joshua and Hearn have been firm in their stance that the match-up should happen in Britain.

The key hang-up in the talks has been where they would fight.

"They gave us an offer, we were hoping they'd accept the U.S offer instead because there's so much money but instead since they haven't we've decided that if you don't want $50m then we're willing to come the United Kingdom and take your offer". "Even though we would have liked a better deal, Deontay said yes". Then they came back with a much, much, much smaller offer for Deontay, which would have been even less than Deontay would have made in the United States, and wanted him to still travel to the U.K. for the fight. "It's up to them to choose". "We want the fight next, we've signed the contract and we're ready to go". "All they have to do is tell us where to be and when to be there, and we'll be there".

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Shelly Finkel, one of Wilder's co-managers, told ESPN that World Boxing Council heavyweight champion Wilder had accepted an offer by Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn for a fight in autumn. "We have preference for Showtime because we've been with them". Yet America's Wilder has been standing in the way of Joshua's complete dominance. The "Bronze Bomber" is 40-0 with 39 knockouts.

The 28-year-old Joshua (21-0, 20 KOs) won a world title in 2016 and has made five defenses, including a 10th-round knockout of former longtime unified world champion Wladimir Klitschko in the consensus 2017 fight of the year and unifying three belts with the win against Parker on March 31.

Hearn has been in simultaneous discussions with both the Wilder and Povetkin teams over this next move and Wilder was always the Plan A. An announcement on Joshua's opponent is imminent, so it remains to be seen if Wilder's latest public claims - which have occasionally been viewed with scepticism by the Hearn camp in the past couple of months - can have a late bearing on the plans. Currently, Joshua is a -200 favorite and Wilder a +170 underdog.

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