Wilder agrees to heavyweight unification bout with Joshua in UK
Deontay Wilder has agreed to a unification fight against Anthony Joshua to take place in the United Kingdom (U.K), and contract will be sent out this week to the WBC champion to sign, according to promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing, reports boxingnews.com.
Wilder (40-0, 39 KOs) doesn’t mind that he’ll be at a huge disadvantage fighting in the U.K. The 6’7” Wilder believes he can take the judges, crowd and referee out of the equation to make sure he doesn’t end up losing like Joshua’s last two opponents, Joseph Parker and Wladimir Klitschko.
The unbeaten IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Joshua will have the home advantage in putting up his three world titles, while Deontay will have his WBC strap on the line. The winner of the contest will be the unified heavyweight champion in holding all four major tiles in the division. This is technically a big deal, but in reality it won’t be nearly as important due to the lack of depth in the heavyweight division. There are only three talented heavyweights – Joshua, Wilder and Luis Ortiz – in the division. Once you get beyond these three fighters, the talent drops off dramatically.
“We have agreed to the terms that Eddie (Hearn) has put out to us for a fight in the UK,” Wilder’s co-manager Shelly Finkel said to ESPN.com. “Deontay sent an email to Joshua on Sunday night and I sent one today to Barry Hearn and Eddie telling them that we officially accept the offer to fight under the terms they gave us and to send us the contract.”
Wilder and his team are so confident of victory that they are willing to agree to the offer, which is likely badly slanted in Joshua’s favor. The thing is, if Wilder, 32, beats Joshua, the money will increase in the rematch for the American heavyweight. He’ll get a far better deal in the rematch, and it’s quite possible that he might be able to get Joshua to come to the U.S for the second fight.Hearn has repeatedly said recently that a deal between Joshua and his WBA mandatory Alexander Povetkin are close to being finalized.
However, the fight that Joshua preferred to take is against Wilder, who is viewed as the second best heavyweight in the division by many boxing fans. The soon to be 39-year-old Povekin, 6’2”, isn’t seen as being in the same league as Wilder due to his limited size and advanced age. The negotiations between Team Wilder and Joshua’s promoter Hearn have been ongoing since AJ defeated WBO champion Joseph Parker by a 12 round unanimous decision last March. Hearn’s initial offer to Wilder was an embarrassingly low $12.5 million flat fee, which didn’t include any of the revenue from the gate or pay-per-view. The Joshua-Wilder fight is expected to make over $100 million, which means that if Wilder’s team had agreed to the deal, Joshua would make potentially $90+ million compared to Wilder’s $12.5 million.