Wilder says Joshua WAS NOT FORCED to face Povetkin, ‘everything was done DAY AND NIGHT to make this fight’
Deontay Wilder has reiterated what co-manager Shelly Finkel previously informed WBN when stating Anthony Joshua was under no pressure to face Alexander Povetkin.
In his view, Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn and WBA President Gilberto Mendoza emphasized the Povetkin situation when Finkel told WBN the fight was about to be signed.
Last month, just after the fight fell apart, Finkel exclusively told World Boxing News: “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.”
Giving his opinion, Wilder said: “Most definitely he could have gotten an exemption for this fight.
“That was the least of the worries right there because everyone wants it. When everyone wants it, then there’s nothing that could stand in the way of a fight of this magnitude. No possible way.
“Even when he’s announcing Povetkin, they’re talking about me. Everywhere we go, they’re talking about this fight.”
On how hard Finkel and Al Haymon worked to adhere to Joshua and Hearn’s stipulations, the ‘Bronze Bomber’ added: “We’ve done everything. I can’t express how much I mean by that when I say we’ve done everything day and night, day and night, day and night. And the only thing they’ve done is try to come up with plans of distracting the fans and trying to come up with plans of lies.
“At the end of the day, me and Joshua don’t need each other to survive and live. We’ve been doing that before we even met each other, and we’re going to do that after we’ve met each other.
“But for this fight to happen, (and) for fans to see one of the biggest fights in world history and to see one champion, one face, one name – we definitely need each other,” Wilder concluded.
With Povetkin now a done deal and the focus on Joshua’s next defence, Wilder must decide whether to agree similar terms for an April showdown despite previously making it public he wanted a 50-50 deal following the collapse of a 2018 collision.
A $15m offer will not be improved upon by Hearn, meaning Wilder just needs to iron out the rematch situation and TV side of the deal in order to finally get the fight he craves.
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay