Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn appears to be positioning himself to play a little hardball in negotiations for an undisputed heavyweight title clash between Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder.
In an interview with WBN the promoter acknowledges that he doesn’t get along with Wilder’s handler Shelly Finkel and intimates that Wilder might have to bend in negotiations more than he would like as there really aren’t many big fights out there for him. Hearn says Finkel has yet to provide any big paydays or profile for Wilder which has put the pressure on them to finally deliver. But for now talks are ensuing and that, at least, is an encouraging sign.
“Deontay is probably ringing him up every day asking what’s next for me? if it’s not Joshua then who is it and how much you going to pay me?
“If it’s not Joshua they’re bang in trouble and the future doesn’t look great for Deontay Wilder,” Hearn concluded.
While Joshua has been able to draw huge crowds in the U.K., the prospects for a big money fight for Wilder — outside of Joshua — seems to be pretty bare.
It’s expected that if Joshua-Wilder doesn’t come together that Joshua would face Alexander Povetkin instead; former titleholder Joseph Parker is currently slated to take on Dillian Whyte in his next outing; Wilder has already beaten Luis Ortiz, whom he could rematch but it wouldn’t be a blockbuster; and Tyson Fury will be making at least another tune-up or two before stepping back up to the world level.
Aside from that, a bout against Dominic Breazeale would likely be met with little fanfare and Jarrell Miller still doesn’t have much of a profile in terms of broad commercial appeal.
With all that said it looks like it’s Joshua or bust in terms of a big Wilder payday, and Eddie Hearn knows it. How will that factor into these negotiations? We’ll find out soon enough.