The real reason Deontay Wilder vs. Anthony Joshua fell apart in 2018

Anthony Joshua Deontay Wilder

As Anthony Joshua attempts to secure an undisputed unification with Tyson Fury, WBN has decided to recall why a fight with Deontay Wilder fell apart.

Firstly, the pair were linked to doing exactly what Joshua and Fury are trying to get over the line in 2021.

Over two and a half years ago, WBN was at the forefront of negotiations.

With inside knowledge of what went down, the fight eventually collapsed despite being on the verge of a deal.

Shelly Finkel had ironed out several problems, and contracts were about to be exchanged when AJ announced the WBA would be forcing a mandatory.

We were just 48 hours away from Wilder agreeing to a fight in the UK against Joshua and taking a lot less money than was initially offered the other way.

‘The Bronze Bomber’ had bowed down to Joshua’s demand for $50 million for a Showtime Pay Per View in 2018.

As talks dragged on, Joshua eventually took the clash to his home country. Finkel was tearing his hair out at one point to get the deal done.

On the cusp of signatures, promoter Eddie Hearn stated the WBA wanted Joshua to fight Alexander Povetkin as his championship stipulation.

Deontay Wilder Anthony Joshua Shelly Finkel

EXCEPTION FOR DEONTAY WILDER

Finkel denied this was the case in an exclusive interview with WBN. The New Yorker said Joshua would be able to ask for an exception from the WBA to delay Povetkin.

According to Finkel, Joshua obviously wanted the Povetkin option over Wilder.

“The organizations recognize a unification over a mandatory,” Finkel exclusively told World Boxing News at the height of talks.

“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 is pressing him, he would be able to ask for an exception.

“Most likely, the WBA would have given it. 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. If they say no – which they won’t, tell them you’ll take the fight anyway,” he added.

Besides, a video interview not long after Joshua vs. Povetkin was made official surfaced. In it, Hearn then admitted the WBA would have granted the exception if they had asked.

Let’s hope Fury vs. Joshua negotiations go a lot smoother than Deontay Wilder’s experience in the coming days and weeks.

Phil Jay is the Editor of WBN. An Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay.