Wilder Defends Choosing Showtime over DAZN

Weeks ago, WBC Heavyweight Champion Deontay Wilder, then a network free agent, announced he would face mandatory challenger Dominic Breazeale on May 18 and stay with Showtime and Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions (PBC).

By doing this, Wilder left a $100 million deal with DAZN on the table — a deal that reportedly guaranteed him a fight with unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua. Many were confused and bewildered by Wilder’s choice, but the “Bronze Bomber” recently defended his action, stating that he’s in a fine spot financially and PBC offers him more viewership and a better choice of potential opponents.

“I would tell the fans to relax. This is my career,” Wilder said. “I don’t go to your job and tell you how you should ask for a raise because you work hard or that you shouldn’t because you don’t. So, don’t do it to me. Just be happy that I’m in this position right now because I’ve been through so much in my career. The more eyeballs, the better, especially because I give you your money’s worth. I’m the people’s champion.

Some fail to realize that we have our own money, our own networks with a big audience, and a big stable of heavyweights. They always saying I’m stuck, what is my next move? But the question is, what are these other guys going to do? I’ve got a lot of options here with heavyweights at PBC.

Whether or not Wilder’s fault, this represents another roadblock for some potential big boxing matchups, including an undisputed title fight between Wilder and Joshua. Prior to Wilder’s new deal with Showtime and PBC, negotiations were ongoing for a rematch with Tyson Fury, who Wilder battled to a draw in a pay-per-view title fight. However, those plans came to a halt when it was announced Fury was signing a co-promotional deal with Top Rank and ESPN.

Showtime executive Stephen Espinoza celebrated Wilder’s decision, and further defended his action by stating Wilder is not the one “avoiding the big fights.”

“Deontay isn’t the one who walked away from the Tyson Fury rematch. He isn’t the one who walked away from the Tyson Fury purse bid, and he isn’t the one embossing conditions on the big fights,” Espinoza said. “Just imagine for a moment if Deontay said anybody who fights me has to sign for three or four fights with Showtime and PBC. All of you would murder him for that! And yet those are the conditions that are being imposed for him. And to the extent that he has decided that he is his own man.

He wants to retain his independence and he’s going to retain control. That’s something to be respected admired and celebrated, not criticized. I’m not going to go into detail, but rest assured that Deontay has made a choice that demonstrates loyalty. Furthermore, he will be financially lucrative for a long, long time.

Original Story: World Boxing News

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