Shelly Finkel, the co-manager of WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder, explains some of the reasons on why a multi-fight deal from DAZN was declined.
The streaming service offered Wilder a multi-fight package worth $100 million, with includes two fights with IBF, IBO, WBA, WBO world champion Anthony Joshua.
On Tuesday at a press conference in New York City, Wilder announced that he was fighting Dominic Breazeale, on May 18, in the main event of a Showtime televised card from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Finkel explained that DAZN never provided any of the financial specifics with respect to what Joshua was being paid.
“We asked how much is Joshua getting, and we were never told the answer,” Finkel said to the Los Angeles Times. “What they offered sounded good, but it might not sound so good if the other guy is getting double or triple it, and we never knew what that number was.”
Finkel also points out, that only a few months ago his fighter was offered a guarantee of $15 million, by Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn.
Wilder rejected that deal, and instead faced Tyson Fury on December 1 - a classic fight which ended in a controversial split draw.
“When they pulled [the $15-million offer] away, they said, ‘Oh, what’s going to happen? You have no one.’ We had someone. We had [Tyson] Fury,” Finkel said.
“And today, Deontay is way bigger than he was then, and we were offered by the same people a multiple of what we were offered before. Can you imagine in six months what they’re going to want?”
Showtime Sports President Stephen Espinoza explained to the paper that both DAZN and ESPN are trying to bind Wilder to multi-fight agreements in order to face someone like Joshua or Fury.
Espinoza is open to the idea of a joint event with either DAZN or ESPN - similar to how his company came together with HBO in 2015 for the Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao pay-per-view.
“We need to get back to working on making these fights,” Espinoza said. “Deontay’s been getting into these discussions and they talk about four- or five-fight deals. When we made Mayweather-McGregor, UFC didn’t say, ‘Floyd has to sign with us for three fights,’ … and when we made the Fury fight, no one said, ‘Tyson Fury has to sign with PBC and Showtime for four fights to get it,’ but these are the conditions that are being placed on Wilder to get the Joshua fight or Fury rematch.
“Let’s get back to basics. Everyone took their shot at getting a multi-fight deal with Deontay. It did not work. So let’s work on what we should have been working on since day one, and that’s making the big fights. We’re not demanding it’s got to be a certain way. If the only way for these fights to happen is some sort of collaboration, then we’re not going to create obstacles to the fights everybody wants,” Espinoza said.