The dream heavyweight fight between Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder will not happen in 2018 according to Shelly Finkel.
Finkel, Wilder’s co-manager and advisor, spoke with World Boxing News to give an update on the negotiations. Unfortunately for those eager to wanting to see the fight take place this year, Finkel said he got a letter from Joshua’s camp saying that the fight will not happen, but instead offered an April 13, 2019 date for the fight to take place.
The two sides initially agreed to terms on a deal, but when a contract got sent to Wilder, there was no date and venue for the fight with the venue being a key reason the fight has not been officially made. Money was also another factor in negotiations as Joshua initially asked for $50 million.
“The fact is they didn’t want this fight. He asked for 50 million dollars, never thinking we’d come up with it. When we came up with it, he said’ I don’t want to fight in the United States, I’ll take it for less in the UK. He sent us a bull*** offer thinking we’ll never take it...and we took it," Finkel said.
In the early morning of June 26, the WBA then announced that it will give Joshua, the unified WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight champion, 24 hours to complete a fight deal with mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin. With a fight against Povetkin likely going to be next for Joshua in order to avoid being stripped of his WBA title. The WBA ordered Joshua to fight Povetkin back in April.
“But today I get a letter saying; ‘We’re not going to fight you next, but we’ll fight you the fight after that...and it will be April 13th at Wembley Stadium. So basically, he can tell me next year, but he can’t tell me a date for this year," Finkel said.
Wembley Stadium is the venue Joshua scored the biggest win of his career last year, an 11th round stoppage win over Wladimir Klitschko. That fight broke the British boxing attendance record with about 90,000 fans filling the stadium. Joshua has remained adamant that a fight against Wilder, the WBC champion, should take place in the United Kingdom where Joshua has attracted more than 250,000 total spectators for his last three fights.
If Joshua vs. Wilder is pushed back until 2019, then Wilder will likely face Dominic Breazeale, who won a title eliminator last year.