Joshua Not Concerned with People’s Wants
Fans have been anticipating and calling for a unification bout between WBA/WBO/IBF/IBO Heavyweight Champion Anthony Joshua and WBC champion Deontay Wilder.
But Joshua will instead face Alexander Povetkin on September 22 at Wembley Stadium in London, England. According to Joshua and his promotional team, Povetkin gets the crack at Joshua over Wilder due to Povetkin’s status as WBA mandatory challenger. The WBA ruled last month that Joshua must defend against Povetkin or else risk getting stripped of the boxing organization’s heavyweight title.
Joshua says while he hears the cries for him vs. Wilder, the bouts he has ultimately comes down to what he thinks is best for his career.
“Let [the people] train to be a fighter and fight Wilder. It’s easy talking about it. It’s another thing doing,” Joshua said. “This career isn’t determined by what people want. It’s my career. I’ve always pulled for and done what was right for myself, which has ultimately led me to becoming a champion.”
The unified heavyweight champ says he’s not the fight game for the money, but because of a love for the sport.
It’s not about taking from the industry. I don’t want to drive a Rolls-Royce tomorrow. I don’t want a one-hit fight wonder, then I’m a champion one week and few months later I’ve lost it because I’m living the life. I want to add to the industry, give back. I do it because I’m passionate about it.”
During negotiations, Wilder offered Joshua $50 million guaranteed, plus 50 percent of the fight revenue, to have the fight be held in the U.S., where Wilder is from. Wilder instead accepted a deal where Joshua would take less money so the fight can be held in the U.K.
What happened next is disputed — Wilder claims Joshua’s team and his promoter, Eddie Hearn, did not answer vital questions and details in regards to the contract. Joshua’s side claims Wilder missed the deadline. There may have been a disputed rematch clause as well, and then there’s the WBA’s mandated order involving Povetkin.
Wilder will now instead focus on a fall title defense of his own, most likely against WBC mandatory challenger Dominic Breazeale.
There’s a chance the Joshua-Wilder fight may finally happen on April 13, the contracted next date of Joshua’s two-fight deal at Wembley Stadium.
Original Story: Boxing Scene