Deontay Wilder's team makes $50 million offer to Anthony Joshua for 2018 super fight
Wilder has us as close as we have been to the fight coming to fruition
Whether or not we see a much-anticipated heavyweight unification bout between unbeaten champions Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder in 2018 largely remains to be seen. But the two sides continue to negotiate in a very public manner.
While it has certainly been difficult to decipher fact from mere trash talk when it comes to the recent communication between the two sides, Wilder's team appeared to take a major step forward Wednesday in hopes of making the fight.
Wilder (40-0, 39 KOs), the WBC champion, posted a video on social media in which he instructed Joshua (21-0, 20 KOs) and his promoters to check their email for an offer.
"Anthony, get with your man Eddie and Barry Hearn [of Matchroom Sport] because I've got something special for you," Wilder said in the video. "All the money is in the bag and I expect you to be a man of your word. I'll see you soon then."
The end of the video showed footage from a previous Joshua interview in which he stated he would face Wilder if their team brought him $50 million up front. Shelly Finkel, Wilder's co-manager, confirmed to ESPN that the offer sent was indeed $50 million against 50 percent of the revenue the fight would generate. The offer, which wouldn't include a rematch clause, also stated the fight would take place between September and December at a site of Wilder's choosing.
In a move that caused an instant stir among excited boxing fans on social media, the 27-year-old Joshua responded to Wilder's video from his verified Instagram account.
The offer is significantly larger than the one Hearn made to Wilder's team earlier this month of $12.5 million, which led most to believe Joshua wasn't serious about going after the fight. Hearn recently told BoxingScene.com that he believed the fight's revenue, after expenses, would be around $40 million, thus making it a "more than fair" offer.
Lou DiBella, who has promoted many of Wilder's recent fights working closely with adviser Al Haymon, told BoxingScene.com on Wednesday that Wilder's counter offer proves just how much they value Joshua's current standing as the biggest fighter globally in the sport.
"We're taking all of the risk -- $50 million against 50 percent," DiBella said. "If the fight does $40 million then he still gets $50 million. If it does $200 million, he gets $100 million. It's $50 million guaranteed. Let's see who wants to make the fight. We're trying to make the biggest fight of this generation -- that's what this is. We're not undervaluing his guy. We've made an incredibly aggressive and fair offer
"If Anthony Joshua wants to fight Deontay Wilder, he now has an extraordinary offer to accept."
The recent developments are a breath of fresh air compared to public comments from Hearn, who has erroneously maintained that Wilder doesn't want the fight.
Hearn has also appeared to be steering Joshua, a native of England who has yet to make his U.S. debut, against unbeaten Jarrell "Big Baby" Miller this summer in Brooklyn, New York. Miller (20-0-1, 18 KOs) fights Saturday against former Wilder victim Johann Duhaupas in the co-main event of an HBO card promoted by Hearn.
The pair of top heavyweight fighters seem eager to get to their fight date
Two of the top heavyweight fighters in the world appear to be on a collision course
Fury is making a quick return to the ring, and Wilder may well be next
The top two spots remain unchanged in our latest update
Plus, a look at Sergey Kovalev's shocking knockout loss
Things keep on rolling after a strong start to the year in the boxing world