Eddie Hearn refused to accept he was at fault for Deontay Wilder’s decision to step away from commentary duties with Sky Sports this weekend.
The current WBC heavyweight champion was invited to attend the massive Anthony Joshua v Joseph Parker unification being held at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium but pulled out at the last minute.
Wilder blamed Hearn and Joshua for revealing ‘The Bronze Bomber’ could be banned from any in-ring appearance on the night, leaving fans disappointed at the prospect of not seeing the two biggest stars of the division talk-up a future undisputed battle.
Speaking about Wilder’s no-show, Hearn questioned whether the American really wanted to be there on the night with WBC number one contender Dillian Whyte also scheduled to attend.
“He said ‘I must be in the ring after’ and we said ‘yeah, you’ll probably be invited,’ but it’s not a script,’ Hearn told ESPN.
“You don’t get in the ring at this time. Anthony will probably call you into the ring, but it’s not like we’re announcing a fight.
“He’s was going to work for Sky. I mean he would have been a yard from Anthony Joshua as he’s getting interviewed but he just didn’t fancy it.
“Dillian Whyte’s there as well. He would have been calling Wilder’s name out.
“‘Wladimir Klitschko, he said he wanted the fight, he signed a contract. Joseph Parker, he said he wanted the fight, he signed the contract.
“The entire world’s boxing media and sporting media will be there on Saturday.
“It would have been massive for Deontay Wilder’s profile to be there, but for some reason he doesn’t want to be there, make of that what you will.
“‘That tells me one thing, he doesn’t really want this fight,” he added.
At the moment, Hearn seems to be playing hardball with Wilder as the Matchroom boss clearly wants to secure a title shot for Whyte on the back of his crushing win over Lucas Browne.
Hearn would certainly be looking for Wilder to sign on for an encounter with Whyte before any Joshua bout is agreed, which puts the 40-0 puncher in a precarious position for any 2018 negotiations.
Jarrell Miller, Hearn’s US 200 pound plus hope, would also be a firm favorite over Wilder for Joshua’s imminent stateside trip in the late summer.