EXCLUSIVE: ‘AJ could have got Deontay Wilder exception if he wanted it’

Anthony Joshua Deontay Wilder

Deontay Wilder’s co-manager and advisor Shelly Finkel has revealed to WBN his belief that the WBA would not have been a major stumbling block in getting a fight with Anthony Joshua over the line. 

Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn cited a statement by WBA President Gilberto Mendoza as the main reason the current four-belt heavyweight champion cannot face Deontay Wilder next.

Mendoza had said on Tuesday: “Today, the WBA requested an answer from Anthony Joshua’s team regarding his fight with the mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin.

“The WBA have allowed over a month extension to negotiations with Povetkin and also ongoing discussions with Deontay Wilder.

“It appears the Wilder team has not returned the contract for the fight. Therefore we are requesting a date for the Joshua v Povetkin fight with immediate effect.”

Despite Mendoza’s words, Finkel says Joshua has never asked for the WBA to give him the license to complete the fight through special dispensation – which has been used before for the Klitschko fight.

“The organizations recognize a unification over a mandatory. If you ask for an exception for a fight of this magnitude, I would highly doubt they would say no,” Finkel exclusively told World Boxing News.

“So, if Anthony Joshua and Eddie Hearn wanted the fight, instead of saying the WBA is pressing him, he would be able to ask for an exception.

“Most likely, the WBA would have given it, and this would not be an issue.

Deontay Wilder Anthony Joshua
Sumio Yamada / Lawrence Lustig

“The fact is, he’s never asked for an exception. Everyone knows it’s best for boxing to make this fight. But Joshua and his team are not interested in what the fans want.

“Look at Gennady Golovkin, he said to the IBF; ‘I’m fighting Canelo, and that’s it.’ And that’s what Anthony Joshua should do. Ask for an exception.

“If they say no – which they won’t, tell them you’ll take the fight anyway.”

Adding further on his view that Joshua never intended to agree to unify with Wilder next, Finkel said: “My team still believes he was never taking this fight.

“He could have asked for an exception. He didn’t. When he asked for $50 million, we came up with it. He then never responded.

LOWBALLED DEONTAY WILDER

“Then he gives a lowball offer for a UK fight, and we accepted it. We have now told him we’ll have the contract back to him by Friday, and it’s now a little coincidental that the WBA says you have to make a decision today.

“They say they want to fight us after Povetkin, but why should we believe that? Joshua said they would fight us next, and now he’s fighting Povetkin instead.

“As far as we are concerned, they have shown they don’t want this fight. We have bent every which way we could to make it happen, and it’s obvious to a blind man that they don’t want it.

“Joshua is the one who went public. He said he wanted his next fight to be Deontay Wilder. He should have never said it if he didn’t really want to do it.

“If his team really had his best interests at heart, they would have said to him that $50 million. Also, with a rematch clause at 50-50 is a good deal, let’s take it, but they never did,” said Finkel.

Phil Jay – Editor of World Boxing News since 2010 with over one billion views. Follow WBN on Twitter @WorldBoxingNews.