Deontay Wilder Says He’s Accepted Offer to Fight Anthony Joshua in the UK
Is it finally going to happen? Reports are saying heavyweight titleholder Deontay Wilder has agreed to terms to fight champ Anthony Joshua later this year in Joshua's home country of the United Kingdom.
The fight was bound to happen. Both Wilder and Joshua hold world titles and are undefeated. The British champ has three of the four major titles, including the IBF, WBA and WBO belts, while the American champ holds the WBC title. Joshua has a record of 21-0, including a TKO of long-reigning champ Wladimir Klitschko, while Wilder is 40-0, with seven title defenses.
Wilder's co-manager Shelly Finkel told ESPN this week that her fighter has agreed to all terms in the latest offer made by Joshua promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing for a fight for the undisputed title. However, both sides still need to sign the contract.
"We have agreed to the terms that Eddie has put out to us for a fight in the U.K. Deontay has accepted his terms to fight in the U.K.," Finkel said. "Deontay sent an email to Joshua [Sunday] night, and I sent one [Monday] to Barry Hearn and Eddie telling them that we officially accept the offer to fight under the terms they gave us and to send us the contract."
Apparently, one of the key points of the deal was where the two would fight. Being a massive star in the UK, drawing sellout crowds for his past three fights, Joshua insisted the fight take place in the UK, even though there's likely more money in Las Vegas.
Wilder's camp tried to hold out to see if they could come to an agreement to fight in the U.S., but instead, agreed to fight in the UK.
"Now we will see if they live up to it or if they try to go through with the fight with [mandatory challenger Alexander] Povetkin first. Hopefully, we'll get an answer in the next couple days," Finkel said. "If they change their mind, the $50 million [against 50 percent of the event] we offered them [to come to the United States] is still on the table. That is still for them if they want it."
The deal includes a rematch that would take place in the U.S. as well. The target date for their first fight would be Sept. 15, but the fight could be in October or November... especially if the rematch between Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin takes place in September.