Matchroom’s Barry Hearn says the truth is out there on why a fight between Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder is destined not to happen in 2019.
After initially sending over a new offer, Hearn was hopeful dialogue would be opened with Wilder’s co-manager Shelly Finkel.
Finkel had previously stated his willingness to set up a meeting on October 6th or 7th, although it seems the improved terms were either too late or not good enough.
Way back on September 20, Finkel exclusively told World Boxing News his stance to Eddie Hearn: “If your father wants to meet on October 6th or 7th in New York I’d be glad to. But it’s waste of time if we don’t have a real offer,” he said.
But that was two weeks ago and the Hearn’s seemingly waited too long. The new dialogue was sent bang in the middle of the Wilder versus Tyson Fury press tour and Finkel wouldn’t entertain the move.
Barry’s response, albeit a bit late in the day, was: “So now a new improved offer has been made to Wilders camp. Let’s see if they will finally agree to a meeting to discuss or not.
“Fans will find out if both sides really want this fight and I know AJ does. No obstacles from our end so just waiting for a response,” he added.
WBN immediately contacted Finkel for comment. This came just moments before he walked on stage for the third leg of the Wilder v Fury media engagements in Los Angeles.
“I can confirm that Hearn sent something but I have a big fight on December 1. That is where all my focus is,” Finkel exclusively told World Boxing News.
“If after the fight he wants to meet or send me something, that is when I will deal with it. I don’t want any distractions now,” he confirmed.
It’s nigh on impossible for Finkel to go through such delicate talks over an undisputed unification right now. Especially as Wilder v Fury have such high-profile engagements.
Whether the timing of the offer was tactical or not, Barry said son Eddie has now explained his position.
“So meeting refused by Wilders team Unbelievable. No more comments from me as if you have a brain the position is clear.
“Eddies interview on the situation up perfectly,” he said.
That interview Barry speaks of holds the same tone of the past few weeks. The Matchroom supremo wants a deal done before December 1.
Citing mandatory situations, which would be insignificant to a unification. Eddie is adamant he won’t wait until December to go over the finer details.
Finkel is fully on board with making Joshua v Wilder for April. Whilst Hearn believes a WBO stipulation, which hasn’t been outlined yet, will scupper attempts.
As things stand, there is no number one contender with the WBO, with only a push for Dillian Whyte to be made mandatory a possibility.
But if Joshua decided he wanted to face Wilder, any WBO ruling would be obsolete with an exception.
Whether the fight happens or not simply comes down to waiting for Wilder v Fury to play out. If nothing else out of respect for the two participants themselves.
Expecting negotiations of that nature to take place with less than eight weeks left until a huge Showtime Pay-Per-View battle doesn’t really make sense anyway you look at it.
Once the dust settles on December 1, and provided Wilder wins, there’ll still be five months left to give the fans what they want on April 13.
With Whyte waiting in the wings for a ready-made in-house rematch at Wembley Stadium. And Jarrell Miller in line for Joshua’s US debut later in the year, Wilder faces a further wait should he be able to dispatch of Fury in Los Angeles.
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay