THE signs are not promising that the heavyweight unification clash between Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder can made in the near future.
Wilder escaped from Tyson Fury, after a controversial draw, with his WBC heavyweight title in December. He is considering a rematch with Fury, but if Wilder fought Joshua, who holds the WBO, WBA and IBF titles, that would lead to decided an undisputed heavyweight champion of the world.
Joshua’s promoter Matchroom Boxing insist they have approached Wilder’s team with offers, but received no response. “We would desperately love to fight Deontay Wilder in Wembley on April 13. We have offered him successively more and more, not just guarantee money, but percentage money,” Barry Hearn, head of Matchroom Sports, told Love Sport Radio.
“It will generate many times more than he has ever earned in his life, but there’s a certain level beyond which we won’t go because AJ is the A-side. Unfortunately to report that so far despite three, four emails, dozens of phone calls, we haven’t had one response from Deontay Wilder’s team.
“So sooner or later you take the hint that maybe they don’t want us that bad. But then they’re also, I guess, planning a Tyson Fury rematch.”
He continued, “I believe that Anthony Joshua is head and shoulders the number one heavyweight in the world.
“I think he’s the only credible world champion out there, and I think he’ll prove to be one of the great heavyweights – not now, but over the next five or six years. And Anthony Joshua’s a very intelligent young man, he plans his future like that. We’re not looking to make a few quid quickly, we’re looking to build a legacy. Now I could be totally wrong and the moment he gets beat, I’ll hold my hands up. At the moment, he hasn’t been beat, has he? He’s had 22 fights, six world title defences. It’s unbelievable in the history of heavyweight boxing, already after 22 fights. You know, Deontay Wilder’s had over 40 fights, probably only had one or two proper ones but that’s okay.”