Wilder Says Sorry To Fight Fans, He Wanted AJ Fight Next, AJ Didn’t

You have read the writing on the wall, and now it’s been laid out, explicitly, no, we won’t see Deontay Wilder fight Anthony Joshua as the next fight for both.

We will kick this can down the road aways, into 2019, which, I must say, has been what I figurered we’d be doing for a spell now. The back and forth between the teams, for awhile, hasn’t been on an even keel. Thye’ve sparred, they’ve offered offers and belittled them, and been offered counters and rejected them. To me, the ball is in the Anthony Joshua court, he holds more power and he can sign off on doing this thing when he wants to. But he doesn’t want…Hey, free countries, right? If he wants to fight Alexander Povetkin, and then even another scrap before gloving up with the Alabama boxer i maybe April 2019, that’s his prerogative.

Also his preorogative is how Team AJ handles this back and forth. Wilder is stating point blank that he thinks AJ is scared of him. His open letter to boxing fans..

..says AJ is scared, and that he’s agreed to terms which as not that advantageous to him. He said, basically, Eddie Hearn low-balled him with a weak offer, and he accepted it anyway, only to be rebuffed. Showtime’s Stephen Espinoza is now in the fray, publicly..

..going at Hearn for the way negotiations have been prosecuted.

(BTW, that “flat fee” Deontay mentioned, I asked advisor Shelly Finkel how much that was. “$15 million,” Finkel told me.)

By and large, many fight fans are a bit over it. The two sides beefing has been prolonged and many folks are now in the “wake me up when they sign to fight” mode. Can’t blame ‘em…the information/Internet age we are in encourages endless beefing, and in fact can serve to hinder progress, because people end up pissing each other off, and becoming less likely to find common ground.

So, where we are is this. Wilder will fight Alexander Povetkin next, in a fight he will be heavily favored—Hearn according to Dan Rafael said the fight will take place Sept. 22 or Sept. 29 at one of London’s major stadiums—and now Wilder will seek to lock down his next tango. And the fight the fans are most craving will still not be made.

C’est la vie, same as it often is in the red light district of the sporting world.

Michael Woods
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Michael Woods. Host, TALKBOX podcast, powered by EVERLAST; 1st VP, Boxing Writers Association of America; is my site