By Keith Idec
Eddie Hearn responded exactly the way Deontay Wilder expected.
Wilder figured Anthony Joshua’s promoter would use his decision to not attend the Joshua-Joseph Parker fight Saturday night in Cardiff, Wales, to make it seem as though Wilder won’t fight Joshua if the heavily favored Joshua gets past Parker.
The unbeaten WBC heavyweight champion also assumes boxing fans, even many of Joshua’s strongest supporters in the United Kingdom, won’t buy that false narrative.
“I expected Eddie to do that because he needs something to fool the people,” Wilder told BoxingScene.com on Wednesday. “He needs something to tell them. He’ll tell them anything but the truth. Everybody knows I’m not scared. Everybody in America and half of the people over there in England know Deontay Wilder ain’t scared of no man. I just beat the most craftiest, skillful guy in boxing [Luis Ortiz]. We know who’s scared here. We know who’s been trying to get this fight done.
“Joshua ain’t even mention my name, but I’ve mentioned his name. They don’t want this fight, and so they needed something to fuel their fans up with the excuses, to continue to keep this going. But a lot of the UK fans are waking up, seeing the type of person he really is. They ain’t feeding into the bullsh*t that he’s selling.”
Wilder was supposed to serve as a guest commentator for Sky Sports’ coverage of the heavyweight title unification bout between England’s Joshua (20-0, 20 KOs), the IBF/IBO/WBA champ, and New Zealand’s Parker (24-0, 18 KOs), who owns the WBO title. Once Joshua and Hearn publicly stated that they wouldn’t allow Wilder to confront him in the ring Saturday night, the knockout artist from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, decided his transatlantic trip wouldn’t be worthwhile because it’d only enable Hearn to use that platform to push the fight Hearn really wants to make next – Wilder versus Dillian Whyte.
London’s Whyte (23-1, 17 KOs), who knocked out Australia’s Lucas Browne (25-1, 22 KOs) in the sixth round Saturday night, will be ringside for Joshua-Parker. Hearn’s company, Matchroom Boxing, also promotes Whyte.
Hearn vehemently criticized Wilder’s decision to skip his trip to Cardiff during an interview with iFL TV following the final Joshua-Parker press conference Tuesday (https://www.boxingscene.com/hearn-wilder-skipping-cardiff-bullsht-want-joshua--126637). Wilder considers Hearn’s reaction to his decision nothing more than propaganda to distract fans and media from the fact that Hearn and Joshua don’t want to fight Wilder (40-0, 39 KOs) anytime soon.
“My whole decision of not going to the fight was definitely a team decision, my decision at the end of the day,” Wilder said. “But it was a turnoff when Joshua and his people said that I wouldn’t be allowed in the ring, that he would have extra security and a restraining order and all that stuff. He’s on record saying that. It’s a turnoff to me. The point is why be there if you can’t hype up the biggest heavyweight fight in a long time? They say they want me to hype the fight up, they want me to raise the profile of the fight. What better way than free advertising? That was free advertising. Nobody had to pay for that.
“But they don’t want this fight. They don’t wanna fight me, and that proved it. For that reason, we felt like we didn’t need to go. Because [Hearn’s] whole focus, his whole, main concern, is about another fighter [Dillian Whyte]. It ain’t got nothing to do with me and Joshua. That’s his whole high right now. He’s not trying to make the Joshua fight. He’s trying to make another fight that we don’t want.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.