Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn has blamed pressure from the WBA for not being able to wait until Friday for a reply from Deontay Wilder’s team.
A contract for a huge unification fight between Anthony Joshua and Wilder has been in possession of Shelly Finkel (Wilder’s advisor) since June 18, before comments were sent back to Hearn the next day.
It took three more days before Team Wilder received assurances to their clarifications before Finkel sent confirmation a reply would be forthcoming this Friday on Sunday the 24th of June.
Despite being informed the contract would be back in their hands this week, the WBA have stepped in a said Joshua cannot wait another 72 hours.
Hearn believes they simply got tired of waiting for news, even though Finkel had responded on more than one occasion.
“I think they have just said enough is enough,” Hearn told Sky Sports.
“We need to know what you’re doing, you’re mandated to fight Alexander Povetkin, and I think Povetkin’s people are getting extremely restless as well.
“They have been waiting and to be fair to them, they have been patient, but Gilberto Mendoza (the WBA President) has clearly decided enough is enough and we’ve got to move.
“We can’t do a lot more than we’re doing. I think Anthony is frustrated that he feels – people feel he might not want this fight. He wants that fight more than anything.
“We sent the contract nearly nine days ago now. We’re not even necessarily expecting a signed contract back. We just want your comments (which Finkel has told WBN he’s already done twice). If my fighter wanted a fight, and we received a contract, I would be back with the comments within 24 hours.
“Nothing makes sense here at all. They emailed me on Sunday and said we would be back with our comments on Friday. Why do you need another five or six days? They know we’re under pressure from the WBA and it all feels like a big game, to be honest with you.
“It’s very, very frustrating and right now it looks like Povetkin is next.
“If it is Alexander Povetkin, it will be in September, that’s for sure, and then we fight Wilder straight after, if he signs a contract.
“But the way they are going at the moment, I can’t tell you whether this contract gets signed in 10 days or 10 years,” he added.
Finkel, speaking to WBN on Monday, had a different view on how negotiations have gone down.
He said: “On June 11, 2018, Deontay Wilder accepted Matchroom’s offer to fight Anthony Joshua in the UK, this took Matchroom by surprise never thinking that Wilder would accept their below-market offer.
“Shortly after Eddie Hearn went public saying that we would receive a contract by Friday June 15th. When in fact we did not receive a contract until late on Monday June 18th.
“On Tuesday June 19th, we requested a clarification of two points. They did not respond.
“I requested them again on Thursday June 21st and we finally received a response on Friday June 22nd.
“Two days later on Sunday June 24th, I sent them a letter acknowledging Eddie’s email of June 22, telling them they would have the contract back by Friday June 29th.
“Since the contract did not state the date or the venue, I also asked for that information.
“These are the facts and Matchroom will have the contracts back to them by Friday June 29th,” added Finkel.