World Boxing News have been informed by Shelly Finkel on Tuesday evening that a deal between Deontay Wilder and Anthony Joshua remains in the balance.
Eddie Hearn told WBN earlier in the day that a contract for Joshua to fight Wilder in the UK this year was in the hands of the WBC champion’s handlers.
Wilder’s advisor and co-manager Finkel had been expecting the paperwork to be sent from Matchroom’s Barry Hearn since Friday, although four days later was the date when confirmation was forthcoming.
In an exclusive update, Finkel said: “We have received the contract and we are reviewing it. We will update in due course as to the next step.”
The receipt of a contract could mean a Joshua v Alexander Povetkin mandatory bout this fall is on hold as the 2012 Olympic champion focuses on unifying the division.
Wilder’s recent social media activity led many to believe a deal wasn’t imminent but with a contract in possession of Finkel, boxing fans can keep their fingers crossed.
‘AJ’ was ordered by the WBA and WBO to battle Povetkin in September unless a deal could be reached with his arch-nemesis from across the Atlantic.
Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn confirmed to WBN a contract had been sent on Tuesday, something Wilder had stated he would sign straight away if terms were as already stated.
The fact an immediate acceptance wasn’t forthcoming is not a cause for concern, according to Finkel’s words.
Initially turning down 50 million dollars in favor of taking on Wilder in the UK, Joshua has come good on his eventual promise to put a package together for an encounter against his most dangerous challenger.
All that’s missing is a signature from Wilder, provided the deal is a decent one, for what will be the biggest top division collision in decades.
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay