Anthony Joshua vs Deontay Wilder: Will it happen?
British heavyweight champion is offered a guaranteed $50m to fight his American rival later this year
Anthony Joshua, the British heavyweight star, has been offered a purse of at least $50m (£36m) to fight his American rival Deontay Wilder later this year.
Between them Joshua and Wilder hold all the heavyweight titles and a unification bout would generate huge interest.
“The purse would be the biggest paid to a heavyweight boxer in history and is more than double any purse that Joshua has been paid before. It would be the first time that all four main world heavyweight titles were on the line in the same fight,” says The Times.
The offer was made on Thursday night, reports Sky Sports.
“Joshua, trainer Rob McCracken and promoter Eddie Hearn received emails sent directly from the Bronze Bomber’s personal address, with his promoter Shelly Finkel subsequently confirming an offer had been made.
“Wilder’s offer will also give him and his team control over the show and the venue, but Finkel admitted that if Joshua does agree, the showdown does not have to take place in America.”
Hearn said he was “definitely interested” in the proposal but added that it felt like a PR stunt.
Both camps will meet on Friday to discuss the deal.
Steve Bunce of the BBC says the proposal is “part bluster and part sense”. He believes the biggest issue is the venue for the fight.
“If the Americans, that’s Deontay Wilder’s people, want any control they’ve got to come up with a big figure to try and wrestle Joshua away from his citadel – the stadiums in Great Britain.
“I think they can find the cash because they’d make the money up in pay-per-view and not at the turnstiles.
“That’s what concerns Eddie Hearn though: how big would a venue be? How many tickets would be available for British fans and, what’s more, when will it be?
“We know they can do 90,000 at Wembley for Deontay Wilder sometime in September. What can the Americans do?”