By Vladimir Lik
Matchroom Boxing’s Eddie Hearn, promoter of IBF, WBO, WBA, IBO heavyweight champion, remains optimistic that a unification matchup with Deontay Wilder will take place on April 13 at Wembley Stadium in London. One obstacle that can get in the way is if Wilder decided to make another voluntary defense of his WBC title and rematches Tyson Fury following their controversial draw two weeks ago.
“I’m not positive the Wilder-Fury rematch happens,” Hearn said. “If I’m Tyson Fury I’m asking for the lion’s share and I know he won’t get the lion’s share in this deal.”
Hearn ideally hoped to have a deal in place for a Joshua-Wilder fight before Wilder stepped in the ring to face Fury,but Wilder's adviser Shelly Finkel said those discussions would need to wait until after the Fury bout. According to Hearn talks with Wilder’s camp have resumed and he characterizes them as better than the first time around.
“We agreed to do it different this time around,” Hearn admits. “Last time Shelly went to the media instead of coming to me and I opened my big mouth too much. We started talking again and it’s going well but I honestly don’t know what they’re going to do. Who knows in the end we might end up fighting Fury and that’s fine with me as well, but Joshua wants Wilder. He wants to unify the titles. We hope Wilder does too”
Hearn went on to say there was zero flexibility when arranging a fight at Wembley Stadium and had to lock in the day when he made the deal for Joshua to defense his titles against Alexnader Povetkin back in September.
“If you want to do a show at Wembley you get one shot, one date on the calendar,” Hearn added. “There was only one date available all of next year and that’s April 13. What you cannot do is wait and see what happens or wait till January. Impossible. This is what we’re doing and if you would like to join us you’re more than welcome.
Hearn’s face lights up when describing filling a capacity 100,000 fans at one of the most iconic venues in Europe.
“A typical AJ gate grosses approximately $10 Million U.S. dollars and we can get the same gate at the 02 if we wanted to get aggressive,” Hearn reveals. “But it was never about that for us. It was always about building a brand. It’s the spectacle of the event, it’s setting off fireworks in Wembley, AJ in flames.”
The talks according to Hearn will only become serious if Wilder is as interested in unifying the division as badly as Joshua is. Otherwise Hearn will turn his attention on the winner of the upcoming Dillian Whyte-Dereck Chisora rematch or American heavyweight contender Jarrell Miller.
“We can’t wait much longer and we can’t force Wilder to fight,” Hearn explains. “Wilder can try to fight fury again but then he’s not thinking about his legacy.
"Wilder is not a PPV star. Wilder needs an opponent to fight on PPV. We made them a great offer last time and they never replied. We are position to make a great fight, a fight for the ages where he will earn more money then he has made before.”
Hearn believes if anything gets in the way of the Wilder fight being made today is just “stubbornness and ego” not whether the fight will be streamed on DAZN or broadcast on Showtime PPV.
“Of course I rather the fight be on DAZN but it will come down to who wants to pay more,” Hearn reasons. “We generally know within 5% how many PPV buys we do in the UK and I’ll tell you right now If the wilder fight sell 350,000-400,000 it just isn’t enough money for a fight of this stature.”