WBC world heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder has agreed to terms offered by Matchroom Boxing to fight WBA/IBF/WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua in the UK sometime this fall.
“We have agreed to the terms that Eddie has put out to us for a fight in the U.K. Deontay has accepted his terms to fight in the U.K.,” said Wilder manager, Shelley Finkel. “Deontay sent an email to Joshua [Sunday] night, and I sent one [Monday] to Barry Hearn and Eddie telling them that we officially accept the offer to fight under the terms they gave us and to send us the contract.”
Nothing has been made official yet but Matchroom Promoter Eddie Hearn says he’ll be sending a contract over to Wilder in the coming days.
“There’s lots to still work out but if he is real then this is good news for the Anthony Joshua-Deontay Wilder fight,” Hearn said. “One thing I can tell you is by the end of this week Deontay Wilder will have a contract in front of him and we’ll see if he’s real.”
The major hold-up during negotiations was where the fight would be held. Team Joshua initially offered Wilder $12.5 million for a bout in the UK. Wilder balked at the deal.
The 28-year-old Joshua (21-0, 20 KOs), responded during an interview, stating that if Wilder’s camp offered him a $50 million guarantee, he’d sign the contract the next day.
Days later, America’s Wilder (40-0, 39 KOs), 32, came back with an agreement guaranteeing Joshua $50 million dollars for a fight to be held in Las Vegas sometime in November.
After mulling over it, Britain’s Joshua ultimately decided he would take less money to keep it in the UK, where he routinely draws over 70,000 plus in attendance.
Both Joshua and Wilder will make less for a fight in the UK as opposed to one in the US.
“We offered $50 million, which is what he said he wanted,” said Wilder co-manager Jay Deas. “And he then turned it down. Then they came back with a much, much, much smaller offer for Deontay, which would have been even less than Deontay would have made in the United States, and wanted him to still travel to the U.K. for the fight. And we said yes.
“The reason we did was because Deontay is investing in himself. He wants this for the fans and he wants this for his legacy and he knows that being the undisputed heavyweight champ of the world will give him the financial gain as he proceeds. Even though we would have liked a better deal, Deontay said yes.”
With a little luck, the heavyweight superfight will be finalized over the next few days. Stay tuned.