Deontay Wilder seems set to turn down the £8.8m offer to fight Anthony Joshua.
The WBC champion has received a fight contract from Matchroom boss Eddie Hearn, but it is believed the offer falls well short of Wilder’s expectations.
Hearn insisted if Wilder’s team was to reject the latest offer, then Joshua would move on to finalising a deal to face WBA mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin.
Wilder’s team, which includes Shelly Finkel, have already said they will accept any contract that is ‘within reason’ and are prepared to do whatever it takes to make the unification showdown with Joshua happen. But the response from Finkel suggests the Wilder team is not happy with the offer on the table.
He said, “No comment at all. We’re preparing a response.”
Promoter Lou DiBella, another member of Wilder’s team, was far less coy in his response to Joshua, insisting the deal proved the British-born Nigerian doesn’t actually want the fight.
“If you’re going to make an offer that insults Deontay Wilder, it’s obvious Eddie doesn’t want the fight right now,” he said. Hearn has already insisted the AJ team will not be returning with an improved offer.
“We’re the A-side of this matchup,” Hearn told the Ring Magazine. “A 60-40 split is so disproportionate in terms of the relative values of both fighters. Our offer is five times what Wilder has made for any fight. Everything he gets in this fight is because of Anthony. If they don’t want it, we’ll fight our mandatory.
“If they don’t accept it, the fight’s not dead. It just means we’re going to fight Alexander Povetkin next, and we’ll talk again in December, or February or March of next year.”
Joshua became the WBO, WBA (Super) and IBF world champion when he stripped Joseph Parker of his strap last month.
Meanwhile, Wilder says Joshua is afraid to fight him.
They are scared of me. He needs to take that ‘F*** Fear’ patch off his trunks because that doesn’t apply to him,” Wilder told Viceland’s Desus and Mero.
“It’s been almost two years now. There are a lot of things in my career, in terms of calling the best out, I’ve been doing that from the beginning. I’ve always got the short end of the stick because when they look at me they recognise a real person, a real fighter.
“I’m a real hitter, they recognise that. With that being said, in boxing nowadays, nobody wants to lose their ‘0’ because now it has transformed into this business type of thing. The more you stay undefeated, the more you look good and people want to do things with you.
“When you have a loss, in the mindset now, people don’t think there is a way of coming back but if you look back in past days of fights, you’ve seen some of the best have fought. Ali, one of the greatest, he lost. It’s all about falling and getting back up.”
A lot of these guys, man, they are just jokes. Anthony Joshua is one of those guys. Hear it from my mouth, he is a joke.”