Wilder, Joshua ‘agree’ to title unification bout
MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Unbeaten heavyweight champions Deontay Wilder and Anthony Joshua appear poised for a title unification bout in the division’s most anticipated matchup.
The two camps have agreed to terms on a fight in the United Kingdom sometime this fall for less money than Wilder’s initial offer, his trainer Jay Deas said Monday night.
“They offered and we accepted,” he said, adding that they would push for a signed contract as early as Tuesday.
Deas said the fight could be anywhere from September to November to avoid conflict with a potential Canelo Alvarez-Gennady Golovkin rematch in September.
Deas said he’s not authorized to discuss details of the potential purse and that the venue and date are up to Joshua’s camp.
A huge draw in the UK, Joshua’s last two fights have been at 74,500-seat Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales.
“We offered $50 million, which is what he said he wanted,” Deas said in a phone interview. “And he then turned it down. Then they came back with a much, much, much smaller offer for Deontay, which would have been even less than Deontay would have made in the United States, and wanted him to still travel to the UK for the fight. And we said yes.
“The reason we did was because Deontay is investing in himself. He wants this for the fans and he wants this for his legacy and he knows that being the undisputed heavyweight champ of the world will give him the financial gain as he proceeds. Even though we would have liked a better deal, Deontay said yes.”
Wilder, who lives in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, is the WBC champion at 40-0 with 39 knockouts. Joshua holds the other heavyweight belts and is 21-0 with 20 knockouts.
Wilder posted on his Twitter account Monday that the $50 million offer to fight in America is still on the table.
“Today I even agreed to their offer to fight Joshua next in the UK,” he said in the tweet. “If he prefers the fight in the UK, the ball is in their court. It’s up to them to choose.”
Both fought in March. Wilder had a 10th-round stoppage of Luis Ortiz. Joshua won a unanimous decision over Joseph Parker in his first fight to go the distance.
Now, the two biggest heavyweight names could be poised to meet next.
“If they keep their word, then we’ve got a fight,” Deas said. “So we’re fully expecting to go to the UK and we’re ready. We’re ready to do it tomorrow. All they have to do is tell us where to be and when to be there, and we’ll be there.”
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.