Hearn tells Wilder to Sign the Contract

While Anthony Joshua’s next title defense comes this September against Alexander Povetkin, many in the boxing community still wait with anticipation for an undisputed title fight between Joshua, the WBA/WBO/IBF/IBO unified heavyweight champion, and WBC champion Deontay Wilder.

As reported by Boxing Scene, Matchroom Boxing’s Eddie Hearn, who promotes Joshua, claims Wilder did agree to a deal for a bout in the fall. This matches Wilder’s claim, who in earlier reports stated that questions he had about the contract went unanswered before Joshua-Povetkin was made. Wilder, as a result, called Hearn untrustworthy to do business with.

Hearn, however, says everything was set in place but the reason Joshua-Wilder didn’t happen was Povetkin’s WBA mandatory status and the order from the boxing organization that Joshua must defend the title against Povetkin. According to Hearn, if he opted not to, Joshua could have been stripped of the title, rendering part of, if not all, the build-up for Joshua vs. Wilder moot.

“The only focus is Povetkin and Wilder, that’s all we want,” Hearn said. “If we can’t get that, there are plenty more people that want to come to the party. There’s a great young heavyweight in Dillian Whyte who will make some noise next week [against Joseph Parker]. We deal with reality, we plan our own moves, we plan our own strategy. We can’t make Wilder sign a contract that he has already agreed to — that’s up to him.”

Joshua is contracted for two fights at Wembley Stadium in London — his September 22 bout with Povetkin and an April 13 contest. According to Hearn, the details for the April contract are like those of the September one — all Wilder has to do is sign on the dotted line.

“It’s the contract he agreed to, with all the terms. I don’t see why [he wouldn’t sign], if he’s a man of his word. He’s throwing his toys out of his pram — ‘I’ll only fight if it’s 50-50’. That’s ridiculous,” Hearn said. “I think he’ll look at the plans for his career and think: ‘I could really do with that $15 million.’ If he believes he can win the fight, he turns that $15m into $30m or $40m in the next one. Where else will he see that money?”

Original Story: Boxing Scene

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