In what’s beginning to become a regular occurrence, yet another opportunity to make a heavyweight super-fight between Anthony Joshua, Tyson Fury or Deontay Wilder has been missed.
Just as Wilder v Fury 2 was about to be confirmed for Showtime Pay-Per-View, ESPN moved in with a game-changing offer for the former world ruler.
Fury had no option but to accept the advances which will see him earn £80 million minimum for his next five bouts.
The Wilder fight was in jeopardy from the moment the offer came in. It seems Joshua and promoter Eddie Hearn have decided to miss the boat again.
A 50-50 offer to Fury for a fight broadcast on ESPN Pay-Per-View. Also in shared rights between the Sky Sports and BT paid platforms in the UK was there for the taking.
DAZN’s involvement on a non-PPV basis would mean they’d miss out. A bone of contention which could be a deal-breaker moving forward.
But as Fury’s promoter Frank Warren pointed out, an equal share would have seen Fury accept an offer to face Joshua this summer.
“We told them we would make that fight any day between Tyson and them on a 50/50 split so that (Hearn’s excuse) is a load of rubbish,” Warren told talkSPORT following comments by Hearn on the fight being unable to be negotiated.
“He could have made the fight a long time ago. It is just the usual nonsense that he comes out with. The fight was there to be made with Tyson. Tyson wanted it. I have always said it was a 50/50 deal.
“It is not down to finance. It’s down to the fact they want everything off the table and give crumbs to people. That is why Dillian Whyte is not fighting. That’s the reason he is saying he is finding it difficult to make matches.
“They don’t want to pay anyone – that is the bottom line of it,” he added.
Not only is Joshua v Fury offer the table, but Wilder v Fury 2 is now in jeopardy and looks unlikely to happen.
This is despite comments by Wilder’s co-manager Shelly Finkel in the wake of the Fury ESPN announcement.
“No, not so. The Top Rank / ESPN deal doesn’t necessarily mean the Deontay Wilder v Tyson Fury rematch won’t happen,” Finkel exclusively told World Boxing News.
“Wilder v Fury II is the fight we want to make. I will discuss with Frank Warren to make the fight happen,” added the New Yorker.
📸 Lawrence Lustig / Ed Diller / Stacey Verbeek