News | Jan 14 2019

EXCLUSIVE Wilder, Fury or Whyte only have 10 days left to sign for Anthony Joshua fight

Anthony Joshua will make Dillian Whyte a revised offer for April 13 Wembley stadium fight this week, writes John Dennen
Anthony Joshua
Anthony Joshua  |  Esther Lin/Showtime

DEONTAY WILDER, Tyson Fury and Dillian Whyte have a deadline if they’re going to secure a shot at unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua.

“Within the next 10 days,” Eddie Hearn, Joshua’s promoter, told Boxing News. “Wilder, Fury, Whyte, one of them can come back today, sign, it’s done for April 13. But if they don’t want the fight they should just come out publicly. All these people say I’ll fight Anthony Joshua but they forget the asterisk at the end, saying if you give me a s***load of money. Is it about money, the pay day or is it about winning [three major] heavyweight world titles? It should be about both but for a lot of people it’s just about one thing.”

A revised offer will be made to Dillian Whyte this week for a fight with Joshua. “He stated he wasn’t happy with the first one and we’ll see. He’s going to get the opportunity to fight Joshua at Wembley stadium for [three world title] belts. It’s up to him. But he’s got other options. That’s what the meeting was about today. All those guys, Fury, Wilder, Whyte, they’ve all got opportunities to fight Joshua. It’s do they think the money’s right? Do they really fancy the fight? It’s up to them,” Hearn said.

Given that Hearn promotes both Joshua and Whyte, you might have thought the fight would be straightforward to make. But that is not the case. Hearn said, “Joshua owns the show. He’s got a number that he’s prepared to pay Dillian Whyte, it’s up to Dillian Whyte whether he takes it. I can talk to both but we saw with Kell Brook and Amir Khan, just because they’re both signed to me it doesn’t make it easier to make the fight. Actually it was easier to try to make the fight. Still didn’t get it done.”

Anthony Joshua next fight

The fight for the undisputed crown against WBC titlist Deontay Wilder remains Joshua’s preference. But those negotiations have stalled. “Even if you want something ridiculous, ask for it,” Hearn pleaded. “They’ve had an amazing offer, in my opinion, to fight Joshua and two fights.

“I sent Shelly [Finkel, Wilder’s manager] an email the other day and to his secretary just to confirm these haven’t gone in your spam items and you’re just ignoring me. Because it’s bizarre. I’ve given up really. I don’t know what we can do.”

If these options fail, expect the April 13 date at Wembley stadium to be cancelled and Joshua to head to New York to fight Jarrell Miller at Madison Square Garden in May or early June. “I think it’s a great move for Joshua in the American market,” Hearn said, “it’s a fantastic move for him. He can go fill out MSG in America, have a good fight against a mouthy top five contender from New York and it’ll be massive. I’m just telling you his preference. His preference is Wilder, Fury, Whyte. In that order.”