Anthony Joshua has eventually beep proven correct for rejecting a mammoth $50 million offer from Deontay Wilder to fight in 2018.
AJ had previously dared Wilder to dig deep and offer him that sum but will to make far more in a battle with Tyson Fury.
Had Joshua not turned down the big-money move to fight on Showtime, Fury would never have replaced him against Wilder.
Instead of accepting, Joshua rejected to counter with his own offer.
After a painstakingly long back and forth, Wilder asking for amendments several times and begrudgingly accepting, the deal fell apart.
The unified champion may have suffered a loss to Wilder – as he did not long after against Andy Ruiz Jr. That would have subsequently left Fury out of the picture.
Destiny seems to have certainly played a part as Joshua and Fury will eventually lock horns in a reported $275 million event this year.
Almost three years ago, in a stunning turn of events unfolded when Wilder put together a $50m guaranteed 50% package for Joshua to face him in an undisputed heavyweight title clash in Las Vegas.
Previously, and when offering Wilder a quarter of that figure himself, Joshua had stated that he would accept the deal if provided in that capacity in more than one interview.
“Deontay Wilder, say he gave me 50 million dollars. If he gives me $50m, I’ll accept the fight the next day. I swear,” Joshua had famously stated.
‘The Bronze Bomber’ found backing to make the deal. Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn believed it could be financial suicide for Wilder’s representatives. Not so.
Hearns predicted the fight would only generate $40m in the United States. It was not taking into account the immediate rematch revenue.
Showtime Pay-Per-View was ready to back the fight and had the T-Mobile Arena and MGM Grand on board with plenty of spare time. The fight’s build-up would have been the most epic heavyweight battle in recent years and certainly had sponsors clamoring to be on board.
Wilder was not yet a massive star on the paid platform. Therefore, it was outside influencing and gate receipts where the contest made the most profit.
Add to that the Sky Sports element in the UK, which Wilder wanted a cut of, both men stood to make at least $35m (£25m) from PPV’s on both sides of the Atlantic.
Worldwide sales, sponsorships, and gate receipts. All of which could generate anywhere between $25m and $50m, would be added for a two-fight saga.
The Fury fight will massively overhaul this, leading to Joshua’s full justification for going down the route he did.
Even with the Ruiz loss, Joshua remains as big as ever in the UK. AJ’s sustainment is due to his redemption win to become a two-time world ruler.
Getting Fury and Joshua in the ring over the coming months will be a money-spinner for all involved.
Regarding Wilder, the American sadly faces at least a year out in the cold.
Phil Jay is an Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay