By Keith Idec
If Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder win their upcoming fights, Wilder won’t accept a flat fee for facing Joshua next.
Wilder revealed his new stance on negotiations for their heavyweight showdown during the latest installment of Showtime’s digital talk show, “Below The Belt.” In an interview with host Brendan Schaub taped Thursday in Los Angeles, Wilder contended it’ll now take a 50-50 split for him to accept a deal with Joshua.
“If it come about that way, it gonna be 50-50 straight across,” Wilder said. “I’m not accepting no flat fees, no none of that. We done with that, and I can smile and say we done with that, bro. I done everything [to make the fight happen].”
Wilder’s full interview with Schaub will debut on the “Below The Belt” YouTube channel and Facebook page Friday at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT.
Eddie Hearn, Joshua’s promoter, most recently offered Wilder a $15 million flat fee to fight Joshua in October or November in the United Kingdom. Hearn previously offered Wilder a $12.5 million flat fee for their heavyweight showdown.
Between those two offers, Shelly Finkel, Wilder’s co-manager, and Al Haymon, Wilder’s adviser, offered Joshua a $50 million guarantee to battle Wilder in the United States. Once Hearn informed them that their huge heavyweight title unification fight had to take place in the United Kingdom, Wilder was willing to make that transatlantic trip for the biggest fight of his career.
Their potential fight fell apart Tuesday when WBA president Gilberto Mendoza gave Hearn and Andrey Ryabinskiy, Alexander Povetkin’s promoter, a 24-hour window within which to finalize a deal for Joshua’s mandatory title defense against Povetkin. Mendoza issued the Joshua-Povetkin ultimatum because he had granted Hearn multiple extensions to complete a Joshua-Wilder unification fight and that hadn’t happened.
It hasn’t been officially announced, but Joshua and Povetkin are expected to fight September 22 at Wembley Stadium in London.
Hearn told IFL TV on Wednesday that his $15 million offer to Wilder still stands for April 13 at Wembley Stadium, assuming Joshua and Wilder win their next fights. The knockout artist from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, apparently isn’t interested in that offer anymore.
The 32-year-old Wilder (40-0, 39 KOs) is so frustrated from this most recent round of negotiations with Hearn and Joshua that he told Schaub he hopes Povetkin (34-1, 24 KOs) upsets Joshua (21-0, 20 KOs). That would eliminate what’s by far the biggest potential payday for Wilder, who’ll probably make a mandatory defense of his WBC title against Dominic Breazeale (19-1, 17 KOs) in his next fight.
“I really don’t even care, bro,” Wilder said. “I hope Povetkin knock him out. I really do. I’m done with it. I hope Povetkin knock him out. We gonna show the world that he’s like, he wasn’t.”
Schaub interjected and asked Wilder if he didn’t want to be the opponent to knock out Joshua.
“I did,” Wilder said. “I had the opportunity. But obviously, he don’t wanna be the guy to prove himself with me.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.