By Keith Idec
Deontay Wilder won’t get his hopes up again.
If Anthony Joshua beats Alexander Povetkin and he defeats Tyson Fury, Wilder is convinced Joshua won’t fight him April 13, either. Joshua signed a contract for his next two fights to take place at Wembley Stadium in London, where Great Britain’s biggest boxing star will make a mandatory defense of his WBA heavyweight title versus Povetkin on September 22.
Joshua has repeatedly stated recently that he wants to fight Wilder on April 13 if he overcomes Povetkin. He even told Sky Sports last month that he signed a revised contract for an April 13 bout, which amended issues raised by Wilder’s team, and had his promoter, Eddie Hearn, send it to Wilder’s handlers.
Wilder told BoxingScene.com that his adviser, Al Haymon, and co-managers Shelly Finkel and Jay Deas have received no such document actually signed by Joshua.
Even if Wilder had Joshua’s signature on a contract, Wilder now is unwilling to fight for the $15 million flat fee he had accepted for facing Joshua in October or November in the United Kingdom. Wilder wants a 50-50 split, despite that Joshua would be the indisputable ‘A’ side of their fight in the UK.
“He ain’t gotta worry about that April date because that ain’t gonna happen,” Wilder said. “These guys don’t wanna fight me. We knew the April fight wasn’t gonna happen when Eddie Hearn sent the contract and Joshua come out here, advertising and putting out to his fans that he signed the damn contract, and when we get the contract, Eddie Hearn’s name is on it. I said, ‘Look at this sh*t!’
“They don’t wanna fight. They don’t wanna fight. They don’t wanna fight, and I’m so happy that this is over. They can move on. They can go about their business. He will get found out. He will get knocked out sooner or later. If it ain’t by me, it will be by someone else. So hey, we wish him nothing but blessings, nothing but prosperity in his career, man, until he grows some balls to fight me.”
Wilder’s frustration from failed negotiations for a fall showdown with Joshua has subsided somewhat because a deal is near completion for the unbeaten WBC champion to fight Fury (25-0, 19 KOs). The Alabama-based knockout artist and the undefeated Fury, who’s still boxing’s lineal heavyweight champion, are likely to meet November 10 or November 17 in a Showtime Pay-Per-View main event from an undetermined Las Vegas venue.
Assuming the final details are worked out among Wilder’s handlers and Frank Warren, Fury’s promoter, the Wilder-Fury fight likely will be announced in the ring following Fury’s fight against Italian southpaw Francesco Pianeta (35-4-1, 21 KOs) on August 18 at Windsor Park in Belfast, Northern Ireland (Showtime). Wilder wants to go face-to-face with Fury in the ring, right after Fury presumably beats Pianeta, to kick off what figures to be an over-the-top promotion of their fight.
The 32-year-old Wilder (40-0, 39 KOs) has profusely praised Fury for his willingness to challenge him later this year. Wilder has been far less complimentary of the 28-year-old Joshua (21-0, 20 KOs), a 2012 Olympic gold medalist who owns the IBF, IBO, WBA and WBO titles.
“I’m done [with Joshua],” Wilder said. “I’m done. I’m done. He disgusted everybody. He disgusted me. He should be embarrassed and he should be disgusted by himself for being a champion and conducting himself this way. No champion acts that way. No champion talks like they’re not ready. As a champion, there’s no such thing as not being ready when you have all these hungry lions out here ready to eat.”
The 6-feet-6, 245-pound Joshua and the 6-feet-7, 220-pound Wilder each has a signature knockout win on his record (Joshua’s 11th-round stoppage of Wladimir Klitschko in April 2017; Wilder’s 10th-round knockout of Luis Ortiz on March 3). Joshua also has beaten two heavyweight title-holders who were undefeated when they fought him – New Zealand’s Joseph Parker (WBO) and American Charles Martin (IBF).
Wilder is bothered by what he considers Joshua’s acceptance of facing less threatening opponents moving forward, rather than challenging himself against a fellow undefeated knockout artist.
“Forget trying to trick people out of their money, trying to scam them [into] ticket sales and make it seem like it’s more than what it was,” Wilder said. “Because those things come back to haunt you. You can’t keep lying and lying and lying, and it don’t come back. The thing about a lie is you have to keep it fresh. You have to keep refreshing it, without even remembering what you said in the last interview.
“You wanna talk so much and you just lie, lie, lie. And now the people have realized that. We’re showing him how you’re supposed to do it. If Fury wins, I’ll get in the ring and we’ll promote the fight. We’ll officially announce it and we’ll go from there.”
While Wilder is displeased with Joshua, he does expect Povetkin (34-1, 24 KOs) to pose a legitimate threat to Joshua’s championship reign next month, when another capacity crowd of roughly 90,000 is expected at Wembley Stadium. A Povetkin victory would destroy Wilder’s biggest payday, but Wilder will root for Povetkin to win September 22 because he doesn’t think Joshua will fight him in the foreseeable future.
“I respect all fighters, so I can’t call him any type of name,” Wilder said in reference to Joshua. “But he wanna fight lower opposition than me. He don’t wanna fight the best in the division and people have seen it. They just wanna scam people out of their money. They looked at this and said, ‘How much money can we make?’ That’s why he never went to no other country. That’s why Hearn always wants him to be in England, because he was ripping those people off.
“Those people in England are getting ripped off, blindly. But they finally woke up, or some of them are waking up. Some of them enjoy it. Some of them don’t give a damn. If they don’t, they can keep giving their wages to them. And when you can’t pay your rent next month, don’t be crying.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.