As talks between Anthony Joshua and Joseph Parker for a massive heavyweight unification stall, Deontay Wilder may well get the opportunity to gazump his British rival in the coming weeks.
Joshua and his promoter Eddie Hearn are sticking to a 30% split for Parker after weeks of negotiations, whilst the New Zealander is holding out for his stipulated 35% share to face ‘AJ’ in the UK.
Parker’s promoter David Higgins is set to take a break from his efforts to get the fight over the line and could eventually look into the possibility of bypassing Joshua in favour of a two-belt battle with Wilder.
WBN has spoken to Higgins on numerous occasions regarding Joshua and you just get the feeling the Duco boss is reaching his breaking point regarding the hardball percentage tactics of Joshua.
Parker v Wilder would have mass appeal, if only mainly in both fighter’s home countries, but it makes sense for the two titles to be merged in order for either to get a bigger slice of the pie against Joshua.
As Joshua holds three versions in the IBF, WBA and IBO, a Parker v Wilder victor would then be in a solid position to push for a 45 to 50 percent cut of what eventually promises to be a five-belt undisputed match-up down the line.
But where would that leave Joshua?
On the back of the Carlos Takam clash, which didn’t entirely appeal to the British public, the 2012 Olympic gold medallist would be left looking at the likes of Luis Ortiz, Alexander Povetkin and Kubrat Pulev for his next outing.
Pledges of huge fights, plus ‘having no interest in the money’ may well come back to haunt Joshua if a deal with Parker doesn’t come to fruition and continue down the path of seeing all five titles finally in the hands of one man.
In regards to Parker v Wilder, Las Vegas would be the most workable venue to make the bout as high-profile as possible, which would also be another slap in the face for Joshua – who still hasn’t headlined in the Capitol of Boxing despite several mentions by representatives at Matchroom and Sky.
Joshua was due to ‘go on a world tour’ between 2017 and 2018, although has staged every major fight on UK soil so far in his career and that doesn’t seem set to change at this point in time.
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay