Matchroom boss Eddie Hearn has confirmed the WBA exception situation WBN brought up with Deontay Wilder advisor Shelly Finkel this week would have meant a fight with Anthony Joshua could go ahead with a signed a contract.
On Tuesday, the day Joshua pulled out of negotiations to fight WBA mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin, Finkel told WBN an exception request to WBA President Gilberto Mendoza was the Briton’s way of maintaining his title status.
Finkel had said: “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.
“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.”
With confusion surrounding how the fight fell apart, Hearn cited the WBA’s request to complete a Joshua v Povetkin fight within 24 hours as the main reason.
In an interview with IFL TV this week, Hearn has now admitted if he’d waited for the promised signed contract on Friday, the WBA situation would have been rendered irrelevant.
“We could’ve just asked for an exception when the deal’s done – just like we did with the IBF,” Hearn told IFL TV.
“So all you do is you ask for an exception, with signed contracts from both parties and you put that exception request in. We could’ve done that after the Parker fight. We could’ve done that three days ago.
“Once you get to the position where the contracts are signed, the WBA wouldn’t have (rejected it), before they lost their rag and run out two months over, they couldn’t really stop a Wilder fight.
“Someone Tweeted me the other day and said, ‘Well, you asked for an exception for the Klitschko fight when you had a mandatory (IBF in Kubrat Pulev). I said, ‘Yeah, we had a signed contract.’ You can’t ask for an exception request on the hope that you can make a fight. Do you understand what I’m saying?
“So we wouldn’t let a mandatory get in the way of a unification because you put the procedures in place to make sure that you get that exemption request. But (when Wilder) wouldn’t sign a contract (with no date, venue or rematch clause agreed), we can’t ask for an exemption request.”
Hearn’s statement will cast more doubt on why the Wilder fight isn’t going ahead as previously planned by Joshua, and why the Povetkin fight hasn’t been announced as signed despite a 24 hour deadline elapsing.
Wilder is raging with the outcome as he wholeheartedly wanted the fight, although the American has since stated he believed the Povetkin encounter with Joshua was already agreed for several weeks beforehand.