The pair were linked with an undisputed fight in 2018 when Joshua was the current unified heavyweight champion. The Brit held the WBA, WBO and IBF belts, whilst Wilder held the WBC. Negotiations for a fight broke down as both fighters would lose their belts. Joshua’s defeat to Andy Ruiz Jr. and then Oleksandr Usyk meant he no longer held the belts. Meanwhile, Wilder lost his belt to Tyson Fury. But before that happened, a $50 million offer had been made, with Wilder’s camp blaming Joshua for failing to take the offer. But now Hearn has revealed that a contract would only have been sent if Joshua had accepted the offer first, which was not logically feasible.
“We received an email from a Hotmail address saying we will give you $50 million dollars for the fight. It was sent to Anthony Joshua. Directly. He was like ‘what.’ So, I went back and said send the contract. They went no, you need to agree terms before we send the contract. I said you don’t agree terms before sending the contract. I didn’t know what was the contract looks like at this point. I’m not going to put myself in a position and say yes I agree terms and then receive a contract that is just rubbish and you can’t sign it. But, they never sent it,” Hearn
Nevertheless, a fight could happen later down the line. Both fighters will box in Saudi Arabia on December 23rd, 2023. Joshua faces Otto Wallin, whereas Wilder faces Joseph Parker. And provided that they win their bouts, there is an expectation that they will face each other. Despite this being the case, the social media response indicated that Joshua had ducked Wilder.
It’s clear to everyone Aj has ducked Wilder and the day the fight happens, is the day Eddie Hearn cashes out https://t.co/PNfRc8md0G
— Charles Alakija (@IAmKija101) November 24, 2023
Hearn cute talking bout 5-6 years. AJ been ducking Wilder going on 9 years bro bro. Some of us remember. https://t.co/lLzLXenSXT
— Unified Champion (@unifiedchampbox) November 22, 2023
Hearn admitted to it today that it was his doing and is protecting his interest. AJ is beating Wallin anyway likely on points. Now wilder might not skate by Parker
— Lyman Pauli (@LymanPauli44654) November 24, 2023