By Keith Idec
Eddie Hearn considers what he has offered Deontay Wilder an unbeatable package the WBC heavyweight champion shouldn’t turn down.
Whether Wilder will accept it is another matter, but Hearn reminded Wilder that he’ll make less money for his next fight if he declines it. In addition to offering him a $15 million purse for facing Anthony Joshua on April 13 at Wembley Stadium in London, Hearn is willing to pay Wilder $5 million for his next fight.
Joshua’s promoter informed IFL TV during an interview posted to its YouTube page Wednesday that Wilder (40-0, 39 KOs) can pick his next opponent for a fight in September or October. Hearn mentioned Dominic Breazeale (19-1, 17 KOs), Wilder’s probable opponent now that Joshua will make a mandatory defense of his WBA title against Alexander Povetkin on September 22, but he noted that Wilder can pick a foe for a tune-up fight, even someone Wilder already has beaten.
That agreement wouldn’t require Wilder to fight on the Joshua-Povetkin undercard or travel to the United Kingdom for that bout, either. According to Hearn, Wilder can fight in New York in September or October, presumably at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Hearn didn’t mention DAZN, the emerging streaming service with which his company, Matchroom Boxing, has partnered to show fights in the United States. To make $5 million for facing an unimposing opponent, however, Wilder obviously would have to agree to have his fight streamed live on DAZN, which will debut September 22.
Hearn said he extended what amounts to a two-fight, $20 million guarantee to Wilder in an email sent directly to him Tuesday night. The Matchroom Boxing managing director also stated Wilder still can accept the $15 million guarantee for facing Joshua on April 13 without also accepting Hearn’s $5 million offer for his next fight.
The Alabama-based knockout artist has fought regularly on Showtime and FOX the past 3½ years. The 32-year-old Wilder’s handlers likely would make it financially worthwhile for Wilder to have his next bout broadcast by one of those networks, probably Showtime.
“There is some great news because, again, whether you believe me or whether you believe [Shelly Finkel, Wilder’s co-manager], the truth is gonna come out because I haven’t withdrawn the offer,” Hearn told IFL TV. “The offer is still there. He can sign for that fight today, tomorrow, Friday, next week, and it’s on. So if you’re so disappointed, if you’re so devastated, if you’re so gutted, if you can’t believe this has slipped through the net, it hasn’t. Show me the comments on Friday. Show me the comments next week if you need a little bit more time. It’s still on, so if you want it, it’s still there. We’ll see if you want it. And even better than that, we all know I’ve not mentioned the $15 million, but it’s all out there. That is the fee that he was offered. Last night, I sent Deontay Wilder an email. [I wrote] I’m very, very disappointed in your team. They never came back to me on comments on our contract. But great news – the offer is still there at $15 million to fight the next available date at Wembley Stadium, which is April the 13th.
“And even better news, I’ll give you $5 million just for a little tickover in October or September against an opponent of your choice in New York. Because you turned down $5 million to fight Dillian Whyte, but that was probably a little bit too tough for you. But the great news is you can fight Breazeale, who AJ boxed in like his 16th fight or something like that. He had glandular fever, but that was back then, no problem. Or you can box someone even a little easier, someone that you boxed already, for $5 million. So I’m offering you $20 million over two fights to fight a tickover and to fight Anthony Joshua on April the 13th. So you don’t have to take a tickover in September, October. But you’re gonna get considerably less to box in September or October if you don’t take it. But no problem. You can just sign [to fight] Joshua in April. But if you want even bigger money, if you want a little bit more security, if you want to earn more over two fights than you can anywhere else, that offer is there for you. It was extended to him in writing last night and we will see. But my focus is for him to sign the Joshua fight.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.