After Anthony Joshua defeated Joseph Parker to win his fourth belt, all eyes have been on him and WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder. Wilder is the last opponent left that Joshua needs to defeat, to become the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. However, many fans are wondering if the fight will happen any time soon, or at all. Joshua’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, hasn’t reached a deal yet with Wilder’s team.
There’s currently an ongoing debate about where the bout will take place, too. The American, Wilder, wants the fight to happen in the States. Joshua has already shown his ability to sell out a stadium in his home country, and as the holder of four belts, wants to have home crowd advantage. Time zones make things more complicated, because a fight in the U.K. would take place in the afternoon for American fans and would prevent the event from becoming a major pay-per-view in the United States market.
Hearn spoke at the O2 Arena in London, and attributed the delay in arranging the fight to Wilder not accenting the $12,500,000 offer that was initially put on the table. He said that Joshua should meet Wilder in the next one or two fights, but that his team is doing everything they can to make it happen in the next fight. He then shifted the pressure to Wilder, reminding everyone that the payday would be the largest of Wilder’s career.
“It is really down to Wilder. Of course, there are negotiations to be done but again, if you believe you can win, it’s not as if we are offering you peanuts. It’s five times your biggest payday.”
As Wilder is the last opponent that Joshua needs to defeat in order to achieve his biggest career accomplishment, he has some leverage in asking for more money. However, disagreements about money aren’t the only threat to the fight happening. With the WBA forcing Joshua to negotiate with mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin about a title defense, the Joshua-Povetkin fight might just happen before Joshua-Wilder does.
Regardless, it looks like Anthony Joshua and his team are ready and willing to arrange a fight with Deontay Wilder. The negotiations are only in their beginning phases, but the desire is there, and next year we might just see the first heavyweight superfight in years.
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