If your breath is bated, and it is of paramount importance to you the status of negotiations for a heavyweight collision between UK king of pugilism Anthony Joshua and the Alabama slamma Deontay Wilder, here is some info that might give you a better sense of how things will play out.
Right now, Anthony Joshua is on vacay, in Dubai, his promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom said.
“I’m gonna run the numbers, and speak to Anthony, I guess, like, middle or end of next week,” he stated, noting that Joshua, who gloved up on Oct. 28 versus Carlos Takam, is on a two-week jaunt.
Some of you are quite keen to have Joshua (20-0) vs Wilder (39-0) in America. More of you note that boxing is bigger in the UK and Joshua can fill stadiums. Hello, 70 thousand plus to watch his tango with late fill-in Carlos Takam.
“Wilder should have no say in where that fight happens,” Hearn declared. “Why? Because he’s earned eight times less than Anthony’s earned! And he’s sold 4,000 tickets for his last (Nov. 4 versus Bermane Stiverne, at Barclays Center, and the attendance was a solid 10,924, actually). The fight should be where Anthony Joshua chooses.”
And it would make sense to prime that pump, have Joshua and Wilder fight on the same card, allow fans to compare and contrast and salivate. Hearn: “Possibly, if Deontay Wilder is prepared to fight on the Joshua undercard.”
Dillian Whyte (22-1) has been mentioned as a possible next for Wilder.
“I’d love it to be,” Hearn said. “Even though they’ve made it clear they have no interest in fighting Dillian Whyte. Even though they said they’d fight Dillian Whyte, if it meant fighting Anthony Joshua (after that).
"As I said about the (Nov. 9) meeting (with Al Haymon and Shelly Finkel), there is a willingness to make the fight. But I heard Wilder’s comments about it’s a 50-50. I mean, mate, there’s more chance of me running the New York Marathon in under three hours than that fight being a 50-50!”
Hearn turned the screws some when he was asked if Wilder should be a bigger star in America than he is.
“That’s probably the biggest understatement I’ve ever heard in the history of boxing! Because how can you have the American heavyweight champion, I’m not talking about throwing the javelin, I’m talking about boxing, I’m talking about an exciting fighter, slick dresser, a great talker, a great athlete and a very exciting heavyweight, who is YOUR world champion. And no one knows who he is. Because he doesn’t have a promoter.
“I like Lou DiBella, he’s not his promoter, is he? He just promotes shows that Wilder boxes on. If he had a promoter, the promoter is talking about the fighter every day, is putting strategies for a fighter’s promotion. That’s not happening, who’s doing that for Deontay Wilder. I know the PBC guys say, ‘We’re doing great media,’ but there’s a difference between a promoter and a PR company.
“Deontay Wilder is going out to run his mouth, because he’s his own promoter. And the reason he’s now known in America is because he’s been promoted poorly. He should be a household name!”
My three cents: The popularity of Wilder is a much more complex issue than Hearn presents. DiBella works within the current confines which are cemented. He'd like to have Wilder under the Dibella Entertainment umbrella, but for Wilder, being a PBC/Haymon fighter is his current preference.
Also, UK fight fans are more rabid than American ones. And, I offer, Wilder himself has floated that race is an issue. So, there's more debate to be had on the matter, in my mind.