Deontay Wilder’s advisor and co-manager Shelly Finkel says Eddie Hearn offered the WBC champion a date of April 13th at Wembley Stadium despite the American wanting the fight now.
Finkel, who has been overseeing negotiations with Matchroom Boxing for a massive undisputed heavyweight unification between the two champions, was informed on Tuesday that Alexander Povetkin was Joshua’s next opponent.
Just over twelve hours on from WBN putting out the news of a potential agreement this week, the World Boxing Association then give Joshua just 24 hours to agree a battle with mandatory Povetkin – or face losing his WBA title.
Revealing Hearn’s date sent in an email on Tuesday, Finkel wasn’t impressed that Wilder would be overlooked this time around.
“Today I get a letter saying; ‘We’re not going to fight you next, but we’ll fight you the fight after that…and it will be April 13th at Wembley Stadium. So basically, he can tell me next year, but he can’t tell me a date for this year.”
“I never said to Eddie Hearn I would be sending back comments, I wrote to him saying I’m sending back the contract. And he knows the contract would have been signed.
“That’s why today, and all of a sudden, the WBA have turned around and given 24 hours.”
The situation is an obvious disappointment to Finkel and the whole Wilder team, who believed Joshua would come through when he originally stated his desire to make the clash happen this year.
“Joshua said on TV ‘that I will fight him next’ – he’s not fighting us next. He also said; ‘I swear if he offers me $50m I’ll take the fight tomorrow’. Well, got him the $50m and he still didn’t take it,” pointed out Finkel.
“In fact, they send us an offer which is a flat-fee of $15m with a rematch clause, which we accepted, and then a date of September 15th at Wembley – which they knew was the date for Canelo. So, they never had the intention of doing it. How can you go the same day as Canelo?
“They are fighting Povetkin on a later date now so why couldn’t they offer that date to us?
“I asked them on Sunday what date and what venue and they wouldn’t tell us, because they never wanted to do this fight.”
“I know they can’t come out and say ‘we don’t want the fight, he dangerous’ – but they are saying they want it and then putting up every barrier they can to stop it,” he added.
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay