It’s a fair bet that this week sees some movement in the prospects of us seeing an Anthony Joshua versus Deontay Wilder fight, sooner rather than later.
Joshua promoter Eddie Hearn is in NYC, being that he’s the lead promoter for the Saturday card at Nassau Coliseum on Long Island, which is topped by a Danny Jacobs versus Luis Arias middleweight clash. That tango will screen on HBO, as well.
Media coverage of the Jacobs fracas will be considerable, being that this is his first fight under the Matchroom umbrella, and as part of his multi-fight HBO exclusive deal. More questions will be fired at Hearn on the subject of Joshua, his top dog in the stable, possessor of a majestic physique and pleasant personality which has already made him more of a drawing card in the UK than Hall of Famer Lennox Lewis was, than on Jacobs-Arias.
“He’s building his whole profile off of Anthony Joshua,” said Hearn to Thaboxingvoice in talking about Wilder, in a Monday appearance. “If his people want this fight so bad, how come we had no communication and no approach from one member from his enormous team, where everybody seems to be involved. There’s only one person to talk to regarding the Anthony Joshua fight, and that’s me. Who do I talk to? Lou Dibella? I think so. Jay Deas? Possibly. Shelly Finkel? Maybe. Al Haymon? Maybe. I am the only one proactively reaching out to their people to talk about starting conversation, and the Dillian Whyte fight. This is all complete rubbish, a complete farce to try and get some publicity,” said Hearn.
Interesting assertion, being that Finkel, on Saturday at Barclays Center, after Wilder decimated Bermane Stiverne, said that he’s communicated with Hearn the Team Wilder desire to make a Wilder-Joshua fight. Finkel, who advised Mike Tyson and a dozen other high grade names in the sweet science sphere, said that Hearn indicated this could come to fruition.
“About six weeks ago and this was not public, I got an email from Eddie Hearn and he said if you fight Dillian Whyte – we’ll get you (Anthony) Joshua next,” Finkel shared. “I couldn’t get on the phone quick enough to him. He didn’t answer and I said what’s the matter why didn’t you answer? He said please give me a day. I’ve just lost the fight with (Kubrat Pulev). So the next day I said to him what’s the deal? He said what do you want to fight Dillian Whyte? I said that will be made easy. When do we get Joshua? He never called me back.”
There you go, two sides’ versions of the same story.
Here’s the thing. All this will be litigated the next few days, and we will get a better sense, I think, of what the schedule for Wilder will look like headed to 2018.
My guess is that parties will decide on marination, on a two-step plan to get to Joshua-Wilder. Me, I think now is the time, Wilder is coming off his Godzilla stomp of Stiverne and looks lean and mean and prime, and Joshua isn’t seen as much as a favorite currently versus Wilder as he did last month, because he didn’t look A plus grade against Carlos Takam on Oct. 28. But if and when people believe they can prime that pump, build the stakes higher, so the money pot builds, well, that’s usually the direction the principals go in.