The whole boxing world is talking about Deontay Wilder facing Anthony Joshua in 2018.
After years of the heavyweight title fights that failed to capture the imagination, the landscape has suddenly changed.
The Klitschko brothers no longer reign supreme and with Joshua the IBF, IBO and WBA champion, Wilder the WBC champion and Joseph Parker the WBO champion, some unification fights seem to be in the offing.
Joshua has made no secret of his desire to unify the entire division, just like compatriot Lennox Lewis managed to do. Lewis was the last man to achieve that feat in heavyweight boxing, but AJ holds all the cards now.
After selling out Wembley to face Wladimir Klitschko in front of 90,000 fans and following that up with a sold-out Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales that housed 70,000 people, AJ is a legitimate draw in boxing.
Wilder? Not so much. Although he has a record of 39-0 and is a world champion, the biggest names on his CV are probably Eric Molina and Audley Harrison.
And yet, he still wants a 50/50 split of the purse to face Joshua with all the belts on the line.
However, Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn thought it would be a good idea if Wilder faced Dilian Whyte first before making his way to Joshua, a bout Wilder's team scoffed at. He explained that offer on Saturday night.
“He doesn’t have to. It’s just a suggestion,” said Hearn to Behind The Gloves, when asked if Wilder still needs to fight Dillian Whyte in order to get the Joshua match. “Deontay Wilder has never boxed anyone of note, so Dillian Whyte is a real fight for him.
"A lot of people want to see Deontay Wilder fight someone of substance, but he wants to go straight into the Anthony Joshua fight without fighting anyone of substance. That’s not a problem for us either, so it’s to him.
"It was just a nice, friendly gesture to give Deontay Wilder his biggest purse ever by double. Come over to England and have a nice cup of tea, raise his profile, and then go fight Anthony Joshua after,” said Hearn.
Imagine if Wilder's promoter, Lou Dibella, told Joshua he had to run through someone like Jarrell Miller before getting Wilder! No wonder it rubbed the American up the wrong way.
While Hearn had a point, Wilder is a world champion at the end of the day and really, who has Joshua fought other than Klitschko?
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