WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder had been lined-up to attend this weekend’s Anthony Joshua vs Joseph Parker fight as part of the Sky Sports broadcasting team, but now he won’t be going.
Speaking to ThaBoxingVoice Podcast, Wilder said once he got word that he wouldn’t be able to call Joshua out face-to-face in the ring should he win, he just didn’t see the point in going anymore.
“When I got hired with Sky Sports, I told them I would come and be a part of the party under one circumstance: If Joshua wins, I will get in the ring with him, look him in his eyes face to face and tell him that I wanna knock him out.
“They told me that wouldn’t be a problem. A few days later I get a phone call with my manager telling me I won’t be able to do that. Joshua’s been talking that he doesn’t want me in the ring, talking about having extra security. I even heard something about a restraining order.”
Wilder would continue to say that since Eddie Hearn is always calling for him to raise his profile in order to build the a fight with Joshua, he doesn’t really get the game he’s playing since confronting Joshua in the ring would create more buzz. Hearn, however, tells ESPN that the decision not to show up is all on Wilder and that he believes Wilder doesn’t really want to fight Joshua.
“He [Wilder] said ‘I must be in the ring after’ and we said ‘yeah, you’ll probably be invited,’ but it’s not a script,” Hearn told ESPN. “You don’t get in the ring at this time. Anthony will probably call you into the ring, but it’s not like we’re announcing a fight.
“The entire world’s boxing media and sporting media will be there on Saturday. It would have been massive for Deontay Wilder’s profile to be there, but for some reason he doesn’t want to be there -- make of that what you will. That tells me one thing -- he doesn’t really want this fight.”
Hearn finally mentioned that if Wilder showed up to the fight, Dillian Whyte would be there to call Wilder out for a fight himself, and Hearn hasn’t made it much of a secret that that’s the fight he’d prefer to make in the short term.