After a post in which WBC World Heavyweight Champion Deontay Wilder let everyone know he fears no man and would gladly fight Anthony Joshua in the U.K., the mega-fight took another step towards fruition when Wilder agreed to do just that.
According to ESPN.com, Deontay Wilder (40-0) and his co-manager Shelly Finkel have agreed to the terms from Joshua’s camp and will take the fight in the U.K.
“We have agreed to the terms that Eddie has put out to us for a fight in the U.K. Deontay has accepted his terms to fight in the U.K.,” Finkel said to ESPN.com’s Dan Rafael. “Deontay sent an email to Joshua [Sunday] night, and I sent one [Monday] to Barry Hearn and Eddie telling them that we officially accept the offer to fight under the terms they gave us and to send us the contract.”
The initial big holdup was the location of the fight. While Joshua (21-0) has sold out the event locations of his last three fights, including 90,000 at Wembley Stadium in London and 78,000 at Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales, fighting in Las Vegas would generate even more revenue; yet Joshua and his team were reluctant to head to Sin City for the heavyweight battle for world supremacy. But Wilder has always been adamant that he would fight Joshua anywhere, and now that he’s agree to do just that in the U.K., the ball rests in the court of the Hearn family and Matchroom Boxing.
The terms were for a two-fight deal, where the rematch would take place in the U.S.
“Now we will see if they live up to it or if they try to go through with the fight with [mandatory challenger Alexander] Povetkin first. Hopefully, we’ll get an answer in the next couple days,” said Finkel. “If they change their mind, the $50 million [against 50 percent of the event] we offered them [to come to the United States] is still on the table. That is still for them if they want it.”
No details were given as to how much Wilder would earn for the fights, previous offers ranged between $12.5 million and $15 million and Finkel confirmed that while they did not get the percentage of the overall event revenue they were looking for, they did agree to a guaranteed purse, so one could expect that Wilder would be making more than $15 million, which would be his largest purse to date.
“There’s no [percentage] split, but they’ve offered us a good purse. Not as good as we feel it should be, but we want the fight, and we’re willing to take what they offered,” Finkel said. “We wanted a percentage, but we didn’t think we could get it done in a quick time frame, so we said let’s take what they’ve offered us. Deontay wants this fight.”
There’s still many more deal points to be addressed, including when the fight would take place (many are saying it would be in October or November) and where it would air in the U.S. (candidates include Showtime and the Perform Group’s DAZN sports streaming service), but as of today, Wilder has made the first big step in making this Heavyweight Battle, one in which the combatants hold a mind numbing 59 KOs in 61 fights between them, a reality.
We’ll keep you updated as more details are announced.
This story originally appeared on TheShadowLeague.com, a site dedicated to journalistically sound sports coverage with a cultural perspective that insightfully informs sports fans worldwide.