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Home » How Anthony Joshua vs Deontay Wilder collapsed in 2018

How Anthony Joshua vs Deontay Wilder collapsed in 2018

As a deal looks more off than ever, WBN looks back at complete coverage of the Deontay Wilder vs. Anthony Joshua collapse.

Things don’t seem to be going as smoothly as the fans would like between Wilder, Joshua, or Tyson Fury. Therefore, looking back at how another big clash fell apart is eye-opening.

World Boxing News was at the forefront of negotiations and had the inside track from Wilder’s team.

A contract arrived with Deontay Wilder’s advisor and co-manager Shelly Finkel at his office in 2018, with only clarification on TWO POINTS needed before ‘The Bronze Bomber’ signed the deal.

Finkel exclusively told WBN: “We looked at the contract on Monday and raised two specific details in the paperwork that we needed clarification.

“It’s frustrating, as Eddie Hearn states in the media, that we need to be quick and sign the contract. But how can we sign if they don’t respond to our email and clarify our concerns?

“If we are being rushed, we need to hear back from Barry to be able to complete things on our side,” he added.

At the time, WBN understood an official announcement would be possible a week later.

Finkel was always on the website, gracious enough to keep WBN in the loop on the American side. At the same time, WBN reporters spoke to Eddie Hearn and Sky Head Boxing Adam Smith face-to-face to get their view on proceedings.

WBN now looks back at where it all went wrong with a complete and frank timeline of negotiations from start to finish.

See below for the beginning of the whole saga, which began unfolding just before Joshua unified further against Joseph Parker in March of 2018.

March 23, 2018 – Joshua fires the first warning to Wilder.

Anthony Joshua WARNS Deontay Wilder on undisputed clash: Get SERIOUS, or we’ll FREEZE YOU OUT!

28th – Joshua confirms intentions to open talks.

Anthony Joshua recalls previous efforts to fight Deontay Wilder and fully intends to open talks again.

Anthony Joshua Deontay Wilder

Lawrence Lustig / Ed Diller

April 1 – Deontay Wilder’s team give the first indication they will accept a deal in the UK.

EXCLUSIVE: Message to Joshua from the Wilder team – ‘WE ACCEPT, send CONTRACTS immediately!’

2nd – Initial talks and potential terms are revealed.

Joshua v Wilder: Fans given REAL HOPE of UNDISPUTED clash as 60-40 TERMS and TALKS are revealed

3rd – Wilder accepts a fight in the UK.

Deontay Wilder releases a statement on Anthony Joshua’s fight.

4th – Joshua promoter Eddie Hearn reveals contact with Al Haymon.

Hearn OPENS TALKS for Joshua v Wilder, reveals why the UNDISPUTED clash NEEDS TO HAPPEN NEXT.

5th – Joshua’s mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin throws a spanner in the works.

Povetkin demands to threaten Joshua v Wilder’s undisputed fight.

8th – Shelly Finkel outlines his reservations about Joshua accepting the fight.

Shelly Finkel: Only way Deontay Wilder fight doesn’t happen will be down to Anthony Joshua

9th – Joshua rejects fighting Povetkin.

Joshua DISMISSES Povetkin wants WBA mandatory DELAY as Wilder undisputed OFFER is prepared.

10th – AJ states he wants home advantage for the initial fight

‘The UK first, then the USA – If I were Deontay Wilder, I’d grab this great deal!’ – Anthony Joshua.

11th – Joshua’s opening offer is revealed to be $12.5m

Joshua offers Wilder far less than Parker. They can expect a counteroffer.

26th – Wilder counters Joshua with a huge $50m USA deal.

Deontay Wilder counters Anthony Joshua by granting a $50m MEGA-PURSE wish, sets DEADLINE.

May 14 – Povetkin representatives hold talks with Matchroom in London as talks stall

Hearn meets with Povetkin promoter Ryabinskiy, which means one of two things for Joshua v Wilder.

20th – A USA venue is effectively ruled out for the first contest Joshua v Wilder: Undisputed fight in jeopardy over US / UK venue

Joshua v Wilder: Undisputed fight in jeopardy over US / UK venue

21st – Team Povetkin await confirmation of September fight with Joshua

EXCLUSIVE: World of Boxing seek Joshua v Povetkin green light for SEPTEMBER FIGHT, unsure of Wilder intentions

22nd – Joshua officially rejects $50m United States offer

Eddie Hearn explains Anthony Joshua’s decision NOT TO ACCEPT $50m to face Deontay Wilder in the USA.

29th – Wilder signals intentions to fight Joshua in the UK

Deontay Wilder says Anthony Joshua’s fight WILL HAPPEN, possibly in SEPTEMBER in the UK.

June 2 – Joshua attempts to draw out Wilder with Povetkin threat

Anthony Joshua v Alexander Povetkin CLOSE as heavyweight king TURNS BACK ON undisputed Deontay Wilder clash.

4th – Hearn states Povetkin fight is more likely than Wilder.

Eddie Hearn says, ‘at the moment it’s Joshua v Povetkin’, holds out hope for Deontay Wilder agreement.

11th – Wilder accepts counter deal offered by Hearn and Joshua

WORLD EXCLUSIVE: Deontay Wilder ACCEPTS Anthony Joshua terms

12th – Wilder co-manager and trainer Jay Deas reveals terms of the new UK deal.

EXCLUSIVE: Wilder trainer Deas confirms Joshua offer is ‘WAY LESS’ than their $50m, looks forward to UK clash

13th – Finkel accuses Hearn of confusing fans regarding negotiations

EXCLUSIVE: Eddie Hearn CONTRADICTED himself on Joshua v Wilder NEGOTIATIONS – says Shelly Finkel

14th – Hearn says Joshua v Wilder reigns have been handed over to father Barry.

EXCLUSIVE: Eddie Hearn responds to Shelly Finkel comments, updates on Joshua v Wilder talks

14th – Hearn says Cardiff in October or November is the likely date for Joshua v Wilder.

EXCLUSIVE: Eddie Hearn on Joshua v Wilder CONTRACT, DATES, NEW VENUE, and Povetkin DEAL STATUS

17th – Wilder alludes to the possibility of Joshua backing out of a deal

Joshua v Wilder: WBC Champ goads rival as undisputed agreement deadline looms

19th – CONFIRMED: Joshua v Wilder CONTRACT SENT for heavyweight SUPER-FIGHT …

19th – EXCLUSIVE: Anthony Joshua UNDISPUTED deal REMAINS ALIVE, in THE HANDS of Deontay Wilder’s team …

20th – EXCLUSIVE: Anthony Joshua v Deontay Wilder – Contract being CONSIDERED, deal hangs IN THE BALANCE …

20th – Joshua v Wilder contract sent THREE DAYS LATE comes with ‘SIGN NOW, OR WE FIGHT POVETKIN’ warning …

21st – Clock ticking on Joshua v Wilder agreement as Povetkin waits …

June 21 – Showtime boss expects Joshua v Wilder confirmation …

21st – EXCLUSIVE: ‘I hear it’s Joshua v Wilder in October’ – says Dereck Chisora …


22nd – Joshua v Wilder: TWO CONTRACT CLARIFICATION POINTS from an UNDISPUTED agreement …

23th – Eddie Hearn comments on Joshua v Wilder CONTRACT POINTS as clouds form over Showtime / DAZN US TV RIGHTS …

June 23 – CONFIRMED: Joshua v Wilder CONTRACT POINTS ADDRESSED, response NEXT WEEK – says Shelly Finkel …

23th – EXPLOSIVE! SHOCKED Deontay Wilder BREAKS SILENCE, gives interview blasting Eddie Hearn and talking Anthony Joshuanegotiations …

25th – EXCLUSIVE: Shelly Finkel SETS THE RECORD STRAIGHT on Joshua v Wilder, reveals CONTRACT will be SENT BY FRIDAY …

June 26 – EXCLUSIVE: Shelly Finkel reveals ASTONISHING ‘FACT’ regarding Deontay Wilder’s $50m US OFFER to Anthony Joshua …

June 26 – Eddie Hearn explains why Anthony Joshua cannot wait another three days for Deontay Wilder’s contract …

26th – EXCLUSIVE: Shelly Finkel gives EXPLOSIVE RESPONSE, says ‘Anthony Joshua and team NEVER WANTED Deontay Wilder fight’…

June 26 – EXCLUSIVE: Hearn offers Wilder April 13 Joshua date at Wembley …

26th – EXCLUSIVE: ‘Team Joshua SHOULD HAVE ASKED WBA for WilderEXCEPTION if they REALLY WANTED the fight’ – says Finkel …

27th – Deontay Wilder RAGES AT ‘cowards’ Anthony Joshua and Eddie Hearn, says Alexander Povetkin mandatory DIDN’T MATTER over UNIFICATION …


As the Wilder fight was on the cusp, Joshua decided to face Povetkin in September 2018. A new date of April 13 was then worked out with Wilder.

Frustrated, Wilder then decided to battle Tyson Fury, and the final nail was placed in the AJ fight coffin.

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