EXCLUSIVE: ‘Team Joshua should have asked for Wilder EXCEPTION if they really wannted the fight’ – says Finkel

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 have not returned the contract for the fight and 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 by way of 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 are pressing him, he would be able to ask for an exception and most likely the WBA would have given it and this would not be an issue.

“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 obviously 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 and 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 added: “My team still believes he was never taking this fight. He could have asked for an exception, he didn’t. When he asked for $50m we came up with it, he then never responded.

“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 say 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 and 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 $50m with a rematch clause at 50-50 is a good deal, let’s take it but they never did,” said Finkel.

Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay