Yesterday in Brooklyn, Deontay Wilder announced a May 18 fight with Dominic Breazeale, which everyone knew was happening, as it’s his WBC-ordered mandatory title defense. The bigger news is that it will take place on Showtime, as he’s staying put for the time being.
But Wilder (40-0-1, 39 KO) still insists that WBA/IBF/WBO titleholder Anthony Joshua is in his sights, and that he “can’t wait” for face his media rival — while also still taking some shots at Joshua and his team.
“Oh man, I can’t wait for him either. ... Four months of negotiations and they knew they didn’t want the fight. Stop. What more do I have to do for people? I’ve tried to show people and I’ll continue to still prove that I am the best. I’ll continue to give people the fights that they want to see. But they got to be in cooperation with my team as well, too.”
Wilder was offered a massive money deal by DAZN to jump to their platform, with the obvious plan being an eventual fight with Joshua (22-0, 21 KO). Before that, he was offered a deal by Top Rank, with the idea there being an eventual rematch with Tyson Fury, which was ordered by the WBC following their December draw, only for Fury to sign with Top Rank and call it off for now.
That’s how we got to Wilder-Breazeale. As for Joshua, he’s set to defend on June 1, making his U.S. debut against Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller on DAZN, and that was already set in stone before Wilder negotiated with DAZN. Fury is expected to fight in May or June, too, and was off the table for Wilder at this time, which was Fury’s decision, not Wilder’s.
You may be wondering how Wilder could be available for a Joshua fight in the near future, since Joshua is a DAZN fighter and isn’t going to not be one any time soon. But in all reality, it looks like this is Wilder simply biding his time and seeing what happens after himself, Joshua, and Fury are done with their spring fights. He wasn’t going to fight either one of them next, got his marching orders from the WBC, and is taking care of that for the time being, and letting the division shake itself into a new place within the next few months.
Wilder is doing the fight with Breazeale on Showtime, but he’s not locked in with them beyond that, at least not yet. His co-manager Shelly Finkel tells ESPN that they are discussing a huge three-fight deal with Showtime, but it’s one that would include “outs” for the fighter if he’s presented with the right deal to face Joshua or Fury on DAZN or ESPN.
Finkel says that the three-fight offer from Showtime is worth “as much or more than he would have made under the DAZN deal,” and it’s been reported now that DAZN offered Wilder $100 million over three fights or $120 million over four. So we’re talking pretty enormous money here.
In short, Deontay Wilder and his team are chasing the biggest bucks possible, and it does appear they’re doing a good job of that. They’ve got every major faction in the sport vying for his services, and his price just keeps getting driven up.