Anthony Joshua’s now immortal words could come back to bite him after Deontay Wilder and his team called the Briton’s bluff on Wednesday night.
In a stunning turn of events, Wilder put together a $50m guaranteed 50% package for Joshua to face him in an undisputed heavyweight title clash in Las Vegas this year.
Previously, and when offering Wilder a quarter of that figure himself, Joshua had stated in more than one interview that he would accept the deal if it was offered in that capacity.
“Deontay Wilder, say he gave me 50 million dollars – if he gives me $50m I’ll accept the fight the next day – I swear,” Joshua had stated.
‘The Bronze Bomber’ has now found backing to make the deal, which Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn believes could be financial suicide for Wilder’s representatives.
Hearns says the fight will only generate $40m in the United States, although with Showtime Pay-Per-View ready to back the fight and the T-Mobile Arena already on board with plenty of time to spare, the build-up to the fight could be the most epic of all time and certainly have sponsors clamoring to be on board.
A PPV asking price of between $49.95 and $74.95 could also help things along, but with Wilder not yet a massive star on the paid platform, it may be outside influencing and gate receipts where the contest makes the most profit.
Add to that the Sky Sports element in the UK, which Wilder will also want a cut of, and both men stand to make at least $35m (£25m) from PPV’s on both sides of the Atlantic, worldwide sales, sponsorships and gate receipts, which could be anywhere between $25m and $50m dependent on pricing in Nevada.
Wilder is taking a gamble, there’s no doubt about that, but may be willing to fork out $10m of his own purse (taking $25m himself) in order to seal the chance to rule the world and secure the dream legacy he’s wanted for so long.
Taking into consideration he’d be in the driving seat with no rematch clause if he does take Joshua’s belts, and it looks to be a roll of the dice worth taking for the outspoken American.
Joshua is a huge draw in the UK and one of the biggest personalities to boot, and with the undisputed title heading back to US shores for the first time since Lennox Lewis v Mike Tyson in 2002, interest across the Atlantic will spike into the bargain.
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay