Deontay Wilder open to facing Joshua in UK

Anthony Joshua defeated Joseph Parker on Saturday night to add the WBO title to his WBA, IBF and IBO belts.

Up next could be WBC champ Deontay Wilder.

Joshua called out the American Wilder after his victory over Parker in Cardiff and it now seems Parker wants the fight too.

Wilder’s team are now expected to open negotiations, with a 60/40 split the likely purse.

Wilder’s co-manager Shelly Finkell spoke with Gareth A Davies of the Telegraph.

“We are really glad that Anthony Joshua said for the first time ‘I will fight Deontay next…’ and we believe he is a man of his word. Deontay accepts the challenge,” Finkell told Telegraph Sport.

Finkell continued, “We want to make it public that Deontay wants the fight, and we are prepared to come over, or meet here and get the deal done. Deontay is ready to sign and come to the UK to fight this summer.”

Eddie Hearn had said on Sunday that there was a window of opportunity before Joshua must make mandatory defences for his belts.

Finkell responded by saying,”We’re ready. Let’s do it. And anyway, unification fights always trump mandatories. A unification between Wilder and Joshua would push the mandatories back.

“Assuming it will be Wembley Stadium in the summer, we are ready, and if they are ready as they say they are, we want to get it done. We want the fight, they want the fight, the public wants the fight. There is nothing to stop it going ahead.”

Barry Hearn said on BBC Radio 5 Live Sportsweek programme on Sunday, “[Wilder] is a fight Anthony Joshua really wants and I think he wants it this year. Joshua wants all the belts – that is the big card Deontay Wilder has got to play [but] commercially, Joshua is far bigger than Deontay Wilder. I think Wilder would come over here [the UK] because in the world we live in, in boxing, the couple of million dollars Wilder is getting for a fight is pretty small fry in comparison to the rewards that await him for a Joshua fight. I think negotiations will start next week.”

At the post-fight press conference in Cardiff, Eddie Hearn wasn’t sure Wilder and his team want the fight. Hearn said, “they don’t want it. They’ve never approached us.”

“I will present the deal to Anthony but it has to be the right deal,” Hearn said. “It’s not really about Wilder, it is about us. We will sit down over the next couple of weeks and plan out the rest of 2018. It’s his [Joshua] call on how many times he wants to fight this year.”

Finkell, meanwhile, told The Telegraph: “We are happy to come over and meet face to face. We think a 60/40 split is fair. Let’s not have any roadblocks, let’s make the fight. If they want it in the UK, fine. If they want the first one in Vegas, fine.”

“We can get the broad contracts down, and then go over the finer details,” added Finkell. “When I had Tyson and Holyfield, I picked up the phone. That’s all we need to do here. If we get two great fights, there will no doubt be a third. That’s the bottom line.”

“If this was any other sport, the two leading players would be competing to find out the world No 1, and we have a huge opportunity to do this in boxing‘s great, histories division, and there’s nothing in the way of it happening.

“These are two undefeated heavyweight champions. It has been a long time since we’ve had this opportunity. We are prepared to meet as soon as possible, anywhere, anytime, and when I meet Matchroom I will have the authority to make the deal. It’s for the better for everybody and the sport. Unless someone has another agenda. We are ready. Let’s make the fight.”

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