WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder was supposed to be making a ‘major announcement’ today during a live press conference, but it didn’t turn out to be so major after all. The presser officially announced Wilder’s next fight against mandatory challenger Dominic Breazeale. The fight will be held on May 18th at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, airing on standard Showtime rather than pay-per-view. Praise the lord for that, at least.
Showtime executive Stephen Espinoza made a statement during the presser that Wilder prizes his independence as a fighter, which led him to doing this next one-off fight with Showtime rather than signing a longer-term deal (like the offers made by DAZN and ESPN). Espinoza likened Wilder’s decision to that of Floyd Mayweather, who famously bet on himself by buying himself out of his contract with Top Rank all those years back to take full control of his own career.
Espinoza also made it a point to acknowledge that lots of fans and media members had strong beliefs that Wilder should jump ship from Showtime to another platform for more money and better fights, but says that Wilder is in a financially lucrative position despite not wanting to go into further details about how much money Wilder is set to earn.
When Wilder took to the podium he expressed his enthusiasm for fighting at the Barclays once again, and said he hasn’t been this pumped to put a hurting on an opponent since he fought Bermane Stiverne.
When asked why he decided to continue with Showtime when he had other lucrative offers on the table, Wilder said he’s had a good working relationship with the network and that he considers them to be like family.
Obviously this wasn’t the bombshell of an announcement that it was made out to be, and quite frankly this sort of thing could’ve just been announced through a standard press release, but we now know for sure what Wilder will be back in action this spring, once again defending his world title.