By Keith Idec
NEW YORK – Neither Deontay Wilder nor Shelly Finkel denied Tuesday that DAZN’s offer was very lucrative.
The four-fight deal DAZN’s John Skipper offered reportedly would’ve been worth $120 million for Wilder’s side. It would’ve included a long-discussed showdown with Anthony Joshua and a heavyweight championship unification rematch.
The offer obviously was appealing. Al Haymon, Wilder’s adviser, and his co-managers, Finkel and Jay Deas, still believe that a Wilder-Joshua fight ultimately will become worth more than the $40 million Wilder would’ve been paid to fight Joshua as part of that deal.
That’s among the reasons Wilder decided to have Showtime televise his next fight, a mandatory WBC title defense against Dominic Breazeale (20-1, 18 KOs) on May 18 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Thereafter, Wilder is free to negotiate with whichever promoter and/or network executive he wants.
The Tuscaloosa, Alabama, native could work with Showtime or FOX through his partnership with Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions organization. The 2008 Olympic bronze medalist also could shop his services to DAZN again and ESPN through Bob Arum’s Top Rank Inc., which also offered Wilder a lucrative multi-fight deal recently.
Whatever happens, Finkel, Wilder, Haymon and Deas are confident Alabama’s Wilder (40-0-1, 39 KOs) will make more money than Skipper just offered him for fighting England’s Joshua (22-0, 21 KOs).
“First of all, I made the fight with Klitschko and Joshua,” Finkel said Tuesday after a press conference to announce the Breazeale bout. “It was 50-50 [for their first fight] and the winner got 60-40 [for the rematch]. So that was. So, it’s not that it can’t be done. There was a precedent for it. Number two, a year ago, we accepted $15 [million], flat [from Eddie Hearn]. We’re now offered close to triple that. So, he’s only getting bigger. It’s only gonna be worth more and when we wanted to make the fight with Fury, we didn’t argue about the price. We didn’t argue about the split. ‘How do we get the fight done?’
“There’s a big difference in the mindset [of handlers for Fury and Joshua]. When they’re not ready to not think that they own us, when they think they’re ready to make a fight – remember, ‘April 13th is set in stone. We’re fighting at Wembley.’ That didn’t happen. You can’t fight by yourself. You need the right opponent. Obviously, [Jarrell] Miller wasn’t, so they came here and they’re fighting June 1 [at Madison Square Garden], a lot less [fans]. So, if you don’t make up all these demands and commands, it becomes very different.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.