By Keith Idec
All the back-and-forth between their teams this week hasn’t discouraged Deontay Wilder.
The unbeaten WBC heavyweight champion still thinks his showdown with Anthony Joshua will come together. He reiterated, though, in a video interview with premierboxingchampions.com that he no longer is willing to accept a flat fee for fighting England’s Joshua in London.
Eddie Hearn, Joshua’s promoter, told Sky Sports this week that he thinks Wilder won’t be worth the $15 million flat fee he offered in their most recent round of negotiations if they resume discussions.
Wilder obviously disagrees. The Alabama-based knockout artist argues that he is entitled to a 50-50 split with Joshua, who’s a huge draw in the United Kingdom.
“Oh, this fight definitely can be made and I think it will be made,” Wilder said in a video posted to PBC’s website Thursday. “Just this time, when you come to the table you’re gonna have to come correct. This will be a 50-50 fight. This will be a 50-50 fight, and that’s the bottom line. We’ve tried everything and we’ve done everything in our powers, in our hands. People talking ‘bout signing a contract. I am not fittin’ to sign a blind contract.
“I am not fittin’ to sign a contract that don’t have a date, that don’t have a venue. Nah, that’s one-sided. This contract is a straight line, one-sided, and anybody talking ‘bout, ‘Just sign the contract. Just do it. Just sign it,’ hey, you can kiss me where the sun don’t shine, baby, because that’ll never happen.”
Hearn has said he hopes to make a Joshua-Wilder fight for April 13 at Wembley Stadium in London. The hard-hitting champions would first need to successfully defend their titles in mandated matches.
The 28-year-old Joshua (21-0, 20 KOs), who owns the IBF, IBO, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles, is set to make a mandatory defense of his WBA championship against Alexander Povetkin (34-1, 24 KOs) on September 22 at Wembley Stadium. The 32-year-old Wilder (40-0, 39 KOs) likely will make a mandatory defense versus Dominic Breazeale (19-1, 17 KOs) in his next fight.
Of course, Wilder would prefer to fight Joshua next and admits he has grown tired of the Joshua drama.
“I’m just so sick of this situation,” Wilder said. “I’m at peace right now. You know, we don’t have no contract, nothing to be signed. If they serious about it, we’ll see. But we’ll see, because as of now, everything has changed. That flat-fee offer that they offered me, it’s off the table. It’s a wrap with that. You know, I’ve done everything to make this fight possible. The world sees it.
“You know, the one thing that they’ve done is allowed the fans to see who’s the real heavyweight champion of the world, and that’s Deontay Wilder. I’m happy for the shenanigans that they’ve been doing, and the lies and the contradicting. We’re happy. I’ve moved on, and if they’re serious about this fight, they’re gonna have to come to the table for real, seriously.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.