Shelly Finkel, the manager of former heavyweight titlist Deontay Wilder, insists he is all ears for making a fight between his charge and Anthony Joshua. (photo by Ryan Hafey)

Finkel recently acknowledged that Joshua’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, had indeed reached out to him via email about discussing a potential fight between the two high-profile heavyweights prior to Joshua’s rematch with unified heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk last month in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. But Finkel said he did not confirm receipt at the time because Wilder had already signed a contract to face Robert Helenius Oct. 15 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Finkel said he conferred with Wilder and Wilder’s advisor Al Haymon of Premier Boxing Champions about the offer and they all decided it was premature to discuss it before Wilder’s Oct. 15 fight.

Finkel said he would be all up for discussing a Wilder-Joshua fight after that date.

“We have a fight coming up with Robert Helenius,” Finkel told talkSPORT. “Eddie emailed me, ‘Can we talk? I have some big [offer] for Deontay.’”

“Right now we have the Helenius fight, that’s all we need to concentrate on. Because if something went wrong there, nothing else would be. And if it goes right, it’ll all get worked out.”

Wilder and Joshua have been engaged in talks before, back in 2018 and 2019, but their efforts were unsuccessful, and relationships became frayed. Hearn and Finkel went at each other repeatedly through the press.

Finkel, however, said he would not let personal feelings get in the way of negotiating with Hearn. Finkel pointed out that he successfully dealt with Hearn when Finkel’s charge Wladimir Klitschko fought Joshua in 2017; Joshua won by 11th-round technical knockout.

“No, I don’t always agree with him, we’re on opposite sides, he has a fighter who will hopefully be an opponent for one of my guys, in this case Deontay, and it’s nothing of the sort,” Finkel said.

“And the Eddie thing, look, he’s been around not as long as he thinks he has, but he’s done some really exciting good things, so I give him credit for that,” Finkel added.

Finkel also confirmed that he would be open to a fight between Wilder and IBF, WBO, IBO and WBA heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk. The Ukrainian recently said he wanted to fight Wilder, since his original top choice, WBC heavyweight titlist Tyson Fury, appears to be headed toward a fight with Joshua by the end of the year.

“The other day we got a message that Usyk will fight us if Joshua goes the route of Fury, yeah, we’re open to that, we’re not opposed to that at all,” Finkel said.