Eddie Hearn explains Anthony Joshua decision NOT TO ACCEPT $50m to face Deontay Wilder in USA
Promoter Eddie Hearn has cited input from Anthony Joshua’s trainer Robert McCracken as part of the reason the trio have now decided not to accept a $50m deal to fight Deontay Wilder in America.
Even though Joshua seemed keen at first, a meeting involving Hearn and McCracken produced an ultimate agreement that the unified champion should be able to defend his belts at home.
Reports the fight is in jeopardy are premature, according to Hearn, who believes Wilder should be the one to travel in order to secure the undisputed super-fight.
“One thing is for absolute certain, AJ wants Wilder next,” Hearn began when speaking to Telegraph Sport.
“He’s made that clear. He also feels though, after talking to Rob McCracken, his trainer and manager, that this is a fight that should be delivered in the UK. One for the fans and two, he feels like he’s earned that right.
“Wilder has boxed in Sheffield before. He agreed to box in Russia for $4m (£2.9m). When we sat down it seemed a little bit weird to be traveling over to the US for a fight of this magnitude with so much on the line.
“As a fighter, AJ doesn’t care where the fight is. He doesn’t know enough about the game. But Rob was like, ‘Why go to America?’ There’s a difference in going when it [the money] is not life-changing.
“Yes, (home) is an advantage. But AJ genuinely is thinking more of the fans in his decision. How many would we be able to get in America? Maybe 6,000 to 10,000 fans.
“AJ said: ‘Is that it?’ When you’re dealing with 90,000 and he could bring an undisputed championship fight to Britain, AJ is genuinely interested in that stuff.
“The old saying about how you have to go to America to make it big, I don’t see that anymore. That’s not in AJ’s mind.
“I think Rob’s feeling is as an ex-fighter you should fight for these belts on your turf,” he added.
The ball is seemingly now in Wilder’s court as to whether Joshua and Hearn can put a package together to seal the deal, whilst both have mandatory challengers to consider should an agreement prove too hard to secure.
Wilder has to battle former Joshua opponent Dominic Breazeale at some point, whilst ‘AJ’ has an obligation against Alexander Povetkin with both the WBA and WBO due this year.