Monday 20 May 2019

Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder agree deal to battle it out for undisputed heavyweight title

World heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua
World heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

World champions Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder will battle it out to crown the undisputed king of heavyweight boxing in the UK later this year, according to Wilder's promoter Shelly Finkel.

Talks between Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn and Finkel have been ongoing for several weeks, but a deal seemed to be out of reach as the two parties failed to agree terms last month, despite claims Wilder had offered his rival a $50m deal to fight in America.

That offer did not meet the requirements of Joshua and Hearn, with the duo edging towards a fight against Russian contender Alexander Povetkin in recent days.

Yet it appears a breakthrough has come in negotiations between IBF, WBA and WBO champion Joshua and WBC title holder Wilder.

"The story is very simple and that is Deontay Wilder today, accepted the terms that Anthony Joshua's team gave us," Finkel told World Boxing News in an interview on Monday.

"If for any reason Anthony changes his mind and wants to fight in the U.S, the $50m offer we have made to him is still there. It's now in Joshua's court.

"It will take place in the UK either September or October according to Eddie Hearn. Hopefully, we'll get an answer in the next day or two. Deontay wrote to Joshua and said 'Hey, I accept your offer, let's fight in the UK.

"I met with Barry a week ago and have been on the phone to himself and Eddie regularly this week. We want the fight next, we've signed the contract and we're ready to go."

Wilder offered up these comments as he confirmed he had agreed a deal to fight in the UK: ""The $50m (£37m) offer for him to fight me in the US is still available.

"Today I even agreed to their offer to fight Joshua next in the UK. If he prefers the fight in the UK, the ball is in their court. It's up to them to choose."

Wilder greeted confirmation that his fight with Joshua is about to be confirmed with this confident video posted on his social media channels.

Joshua told in March that he was keen to fight Wilder in his next fight and now it seems a deal has been done for what could be the richest fight in the sport's history.

"He’ll do a great job of promoting and selling himself and I’ll do a great job of beating him. It’s as simple as that. People talk a good game, but it’s about backing it up in the ring," declared Joshua.

"People like to trash talk, but I do it in a more fun way unless it gets personal and then I’ll give as good as I get. I like to beat them in the ring. I’ve never heard of a record for winning press conferences or stare downs. Let's get this fight on."




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