The PBC is Primed to Take Over the PPV Market
By: William Holmes
Much has been written about in the past several months about the arrival of streaming as a viable platform for boxing promoters. Top Rank has aligned themselves with ESPN+, which is available to subscribers for $5 dollars a month. Golden Boy Promotions and Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing have aligned themselves with DAZN, which is available to subscribers for $10 dollars a month.
Both platforms seem intent on convincing promoters to abandon the traditional Pay Per View(PPV) model in favor of the newer streaming model.
Photo Credit: Stephen Espinoza Twitter Account (@StephenEspinoza)
However, there’s still one major player in the sport of boxing that isn’t aligned with any streaming service, and they appear to be focused on their relationship with Fox Sports and Showtime with an eye towards PPV for their bigger fights.
That player is Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions (PBC).
HBO’s retreat from the Pay Per View Boxing business left a hole that the PBC appears to be more than ready to fill. On Saturday December 1st they’ll put on Heavyweight Title Fight on PPV between undefeated Tyson Fury and undefeated champion Deontay Wilder.
The Heavyweight division was considered to be boxing’s golden division in the Pay-Per-View business before Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. came along, and it is still the division that attracts casuals to the sport with its propensity for knockouts.
But the undercard for December’s heavyweight pay per view attraction shows the PBC’s serious commitment to PPV.
There appears to be at least nine different fights which showcase a boxer who has previously headlined a big event, holds a world title, or is line for a future title shot.
Jarrett Hurd will be defending his junior middleweight title in the co-main event with a possible shot against one of the Charlo brothers hanging in the balance. Luis Ortiz is looking for another title shot and will be facing Travis Kauffman in the heavyweight division. Anthony Yarde and Joe Joyce are two boxers who have been making a name for themselves in the United Kingdom and will be fighting stateside on December 1st in separate bouts. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. is still a big name that carries a lot of attention, and he’ll be facing the always tough and former title challenger Alfredo Angulo.
Wait, there’s more…
Mark Barriga and Carlos Licona are also fighting on the undercard for the vacant IBF Strawweight Title. Chris Arreola is still a big name in the heavyweight division, and he’s facing Maurenzo Smith. Former world titlist Robert Guerrero is coming out of retirement to make his return in the welterweight division.
There’s a lot of fights and fighters on this card that are capable of headlining their own card on Showtime or Fox Sports that will be featured on this PPV. A card stacked with this much talent shows PBC’s commitment to the PPV model.
But, their PPV commitment doesn’t stop at the heavyweight division.
The PBC is expected to announce an upcoming PPV fight with Manny Pacquiao and Adrien Broner. Pacquiao, a long time client of Top Rank Promotions, is still a big pay per view draw if he is matched up with the right opponent. The only viable pay per view opponent Pacquiao had with Top Rank was Terence Crawford. Even though Crawford’s skills as a boxer and undeniable and he would probably be considered a favorite if he fought Pacquiao, he hasn’t shown that he has the name recognition to sell pay per view.
Broner is just one of many fascinating matchups that the PBC has for Pacquiao. Keith Thurman, Danny Garcia, Errol Spence Jr., Shawn Porter, and even Mikey Garcia are all possible opponents for Pacquiao that could eventually wind up on pay per view.
Most importantly, a rematch with Floyd Mayweather Jr. is a more realistic possibility now that Pacquiao has signed with the PBC.
The PBC has also announced a PPV fight between Errol Spence Jr. and Mikey Garcia. Garcia brings the loyalty of the Mexican boxing fan base into play when it comes to pay per view buys and Spence is considered by many to be one of the top pound for pound talents in the sport today. It’s a good fight worthy of pay per view, but probably won’t sell as well as most Pacquiao or Mayweather PPVs.
What about the Charlo brothers? They’re highly entertaining and have engaging personalities. They’re two other highly talented boxers on the PBC roster with PPV potential, provided they can find quality opponents.
The co-main event of December 1st features one such opponent, IBF/WBA Junior Middleweight Champion Jarret Hurd.
The talent that the PBC has on their roster is undeniable. Can they turn that talent into PPV success? Wilder vs. Fury and the signing of Manny Pacquiao shows they’re certainly going to try.
Breland Training Wilder For Psychological Warfare Against Fury
By: Sean Crose
“Going pretty good,” Mark Breland tells me of his fighter, Deontay Wilder’s, preparation for a December showdown with Tyson Fury. “Looking sharp.” Breland, a former Gold Medalist and world welterweight champ, is sometimes uneasy when a fighter looks TOO good in the earlier stages of training camp, for it’s unwise to peak too soon. As it stands, however, the man is satisfied with Wilder’s progression.
Both Breland and Wilder are aware of the fact that Fury presents a unique challenge. Not only is the former heavyweight king after Wilder’s WBC heavyweight belt, he’s also, like Wilder, undefeated and awkward. What’s more, Fury is the rare opponent who is actually taller than Wilder is. For Breland, though, the concern right now is “basically that little awkward stuff he (Fury) does” in the ring.
Photo Credit: Mark Breland Twitter Account
Anyone whose seen Fury fight knows that he likes to play an elusive game by engaging in herky-jerky movements. “He tries to throw you off,” Breland says of the Englishman’s style. “He tries to get a rise out of you.” Breland’s aware of the fact that it’s a strategy that has worked for Fury on a large scale. “He’s not as stupid as people say he is,” Breland states.
It’s common knowledge Fury likes to get inside opponent’s heads before a fight even begins. Breland agrees that one of the reason’s Fury stunned then champ Wladimir Klitschko back in 2015 was Fury’s acute use of mind games before the bout. Men like Fury, Breland argues “want to see what they get out of you.”
Breland, who himself was always a cool customer in the ring, is preparing Wilder as much for Fury’s mind games as he is for the exchange of punches. “He’s going to try everything in the book to frustrate you,” he says of Fury. Breland isn’t impressed with those who run wild in this era of smack talk.
“These guys,” he says, “take it too far.” Breland advises that one should let the adversary do what he wants beforehand. “Just don’t hit him,” he says. “When you hit him, it’s a lawsuit.” So far, Wilder has seemed impervious to Fury’s taunts, which perfectly suits his trainer. Breland, however, is preparing his man for any contingency.
“I honestly think,” he says of Wilder, “if he catches him, he’s going” to knock him out. Yet Breland is ready for Fury to try to up the frustration level when he meets Wilder in the Staples’ Center ring on December 1st. “It can be a long, drawn out fight,” Breland states. Not that he’s worried. “Don’t get discouraged,” he points out. “He’s not doing nothing and you don’t have to do nothing.” In other words, don’t take the bait.
“Just keep tapping him with the jab,” Breland says. “Anything with Fury is mental.”
WBC Threatens to Make Wilder vs. Fury a Non Title Fight
There are reports today that the Deontay Wilder v Tyson Fury bout could become a non title fight.
This comes after WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman said that if Fury doesn’t enrol on the WBC Clean Boxing Program by the end of this week he will not be able to win Wilder’s WBC heavyweight world title.
Photo Credit: Tyson Fury Twitter Account
Fury failed a test for steroid nandrolone in 2015, which he then had a back dated ban that ended in 2017.
Fury has promised Sulaiman he will enrol immediately.
“Fury is not enrolled with the WBC Clean Boxing Program and he promised me personally, and even on Twitter, that he was enrolling. If he doesn’t, the fight with Wilder will not be for the WBC title,” Sulaiman told Boxing News.
“I have been in touch with Fury and his trainer (Ben Davison) and they tell me it is just a matter of paperwork. They have the papers, they say. I don’t want to put a deadline on it that it is not reasonable but it has to happen this week. That is plenty of time. If I don’t get those papers, the WBC will not sanction the fight.”
“There will be VADA testing for the fight,” Sulaiman insisted. “there are two types of testing. In-competition and out-of-competition random testing for any fighter who is enrolled. There is contracted fight testing. As yet, I do not know if the promoters of this fight have requested that.”
Sulaiman then noted the cost implications for all fighters to have out of competition testing, and would like the burden to be shared so it’s not just the WBC that have to cough up.
“If we have a fighter in Thailand and a fighter in Nicaragua, when their training camps are so far apart, it’s very costly to do testing,” Sulaiman said. He is happy when promoters help cover these costs. “But we are very happy for those promoters who contract that testing.
“The more drug testing the better. The problem is that there are a lot of legalities involved, failed tests can go to lawyers and cases appealed. Unfortunately, though the WBC have implemented the Clean Boxing Program, there is no one entity in control of drug testing throughout the sport.
“There are so many tests. Some are done by the organisation, some by the promoter, some by the local commission. There is no uniformity. We are working to improve that situation”.
When asked that if a good starting point would be for high profile contests, such as Wilder v Fury, that drug testing should be in place before the contest is announced, Sulaiman replied that, yes, he wished every title fight had out of competition testing, and they won’t discriminate due to the magnitude of the bout.
“We don’t fall into discrimination where one fight is deemed more important than another. Just because a fight is for the strawweight title doesn’t make it less important than a fight for the heavyweight title. A fight for a WBC championship should be the greatest fight,” Sulaiman said. “Yes, I wish every fight had fighters in who had been subject to out-of-competition testing. We’re working towards that.”
Tyson Fury’s Antics Turn Wilder Press Conference into a Circus
By: Sean Crose
First things first – boxing press conferences, especially for big matches – need to be more exciting. They can be tiresome affairs, more like homework than electrifying events. People no one’s heard of speak on behalf of businesses and corporations no one cares about. It can all be tiresome. In truth, the UFC does a far better job than boxing when it comes to bringing the heat to media events. Ultimately, however, the UFC goes too far. Conor McGregor, entertaining though he is, is essentially a high school bully in the body of a thirty year old professional athlete. His press conferences rile up his legions of fans, but they’re like the kind of crap you witnessed in the school cafeteria as a kid. And frankly, that’s not really fun after a point – unless you’ve never matured beyond your teenage self.
Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury had a nice press conference going in England on Monday…until Fury decided to stomp on down the McGregor path and ruin it. Each man was quipping off the other, landing shots, while letting shots roll of his chest. It’s was a fun leadup to a big match between two tough professionals. Unfortunately, Fury had to spoil things by challenging Wilder to punch him. Once again, we were all transported back to high school. Wilder took the bait and the two men had to be broken up before real chaos ensued. It was idiotic and unprofessional.
Frankly, I blame Fury for this – not because I’m a biased American defending my countryman, but because Fury – like McGregor – is a bully who likes to win the fight mentally before it even begins. Wilder, however, appeared to be bully proof on Monday, so the giant Englishman felt he had to up the ante. Fair enough. But fans shouldn’t be happy getting a half baked fight in October when the real one’s going down December 1st.
Some of us have really been looking forward to Wilder-Fury. Both men are vastly underrated and have personalities as big as their frames. It’s pretty clear Anthony Joshua wants no part of either man (or at least Wilder), so it’s exciting to see two of the three best heavyweights in the world getting it on. Boxing is a serious sport, however. People die. People get brain damaged. Theatrics are fine. Idiocy is for high school. Let’s leave it there.
Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury London Press Conference Quotes
The Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury Press Tour got off to a combative start as the two heavyweight giants went face-to-face in London on Monday, exchanging verbal jabs ahead of their December 1 showdown for the WBC Heavyweight World Championship live on SHOWTIME PPV from STAPLES Center in Los Angeles.
Amidst the back-and-forth jawing, the 6-foot-7 Wilder and the 6-foot-9 Fury had to be separated when Wilder refused to back down from Fury’s challenge to engage in a sparring session.
Photo Credit: Mark Robinson/Showtime
“I want to feel the power,” Fury said to Wilder. “You’re going to feel the Fury, I want to feel the Alabama slammer.”
“I’m going to show you the full power”, Wilder quipped back. “This ain’t no game!” Watch the confrontation HERE
Wilder vs. Fury tests the raw power of Wilder against the unmatched size and mobility of Fury. America’s only heavyweight champion since 2007, Wilder has 39 knockouts in 40 professional fights, including knockouts in all seven of his title defenses. Fury is a former IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight world champion who is undefeated in 27 professional fights and holds boxing’s coveted lineal heavyweight title.
Tickets for the event, which is promoted by BombZquad Enterprises and Queensberry Promotions, in association with DiBella Entertainment and TGB Promotions, go on sale Wednesday, October 3 at 12 p.m. PT. Tickets are priced starting at $75, plus applicable fees, and are available via AXS.com.
In anticipation of the biggest heavyweight event in the U.S. since Mike Tyson-Lennox Lewis in 2002, the Wilder vs. Fury International Press Tour continues Tuesday at Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York and concludes Wednesday in Los Angeles.
Below are flash quotes from today’s event at BT Sport Headquarters in London:
“I believe every word that I say. When I say I’m going to knock a man out and tell him where and how he may lay, it comes to pass. I’m all about devastating knockouts, that’s what I do. There’s no pressure on me. You just need to be there to witness it.
“He has two months to get ready. He’s lost a lot of weight but he needs to lose a little bit more. He already knows he’s going to get knocked out. He can hoot and holler, he can build himself up but he needs to take my advice and speak it, believe it, receive it. He’s going to feel pain he’s never felt before.
“Some people don’t even think I should be fighting Fury at this point in time. Whether they want to see another fight or they don’t think he’s ready right now, we can’t live off other’s opinions. When you come to see a Deontay Wilder fight, you’re only coming to see one thing and that’s me knocking somebody out. You all are looking at the 41st person that’s going to be knocked out.
“The antics aren’t going to work against me. I’m not (Wladimir) Klitschko, this is Deontay Wilder.
“I definitely think I’m the No. 1 heavyweight in the world. I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t feel I was the best. I’m not worried about any other fighters or what they’re saying or how they are hyping themselves up. I already know I’m the part. All you have to do is tune in. I’m about to put him in the oven and make a muffin.”
“I am no challenger for no man. I am the lineal heavyweight champion of the world. That means I’m the best of the best. The elite champion. This is two champions colliding, this is equal-rights champion vs. champion.
“I’m savoring nothing. The only thing I’m savoring is smashing Deontay Wilder’s teeth in. The press has all turned up today to see the biggest fight of our generation between two undefeated giants, and boy are you going to get a fight. You’re in for a real treat, don’t worry about that. I’m in no mood to dance around the ring. There’s not a 15 stone man on the planet that can beat Tyson Fury.
“I have no concern at all about my lack of fights in recent years. If you can fight, you can fight. I picked this fight. I said to Frank, get me this fight. I could have fought another 10 bums and won them too. Nobody forced me to fight Deontay Wilder, I picked him because I believe he’s an easy touch.”
“I will stand right in front of him and prove what I will do. I will punch his face seven days a week and twice on a Sunday. If we fought 30 times, I’d win 30 times.”
“It’s been a long time since the heavyweight division has had two giants like this. Two champions at the top of their game, at the top of their division willing to fight one another. It’s not rocket science making a fight. Deontay spent a lot of time trying to make a fight with another guy from England who didn’t want to fight. When Fury got himself back into the ring and got himself in the shape he is in now, Shelly (Finkel) and Frank (Warren) were able to make this fight very quickly.
“When two great champions want to make a fight, the fight happens. That’s why December 1 is happening. We’re going to know right then and there who the best heavyweight on the planet is until proven otherwise. The winner of this fight will be the best heavyweight on the planet.
“Fury is an interesting guy who has had to overcome a lot of adversity. I think he should be proud of himself for getting his life in order and being able to turn things around. What he’s done in the last six months has been remarkable. I’m still going to admire him after he gets knocked out on December 1.”
“I have nothing but respect for our challenger, Fury. When I was handling Klitschko, we didn’t think Fury had a chance against him. He proved me wrong. He won’t prove me wrong twice.
“We didn’t pick to fight Tyson because we thought he was easy, we believe he’s the best out there. We want to fight the best, and only the best. We have respect for you because your countryman didn’t want to fight even though he was offered a fortune to fight. When it was presented, he said no. I commend you for stepping right in.”
“These are the two best heavyweights because they’re willing to step in the ring together. That’s what great fighters do. We are going to see something special on December 1. I think it’s going to be a fight that nobody expects. This is not going to be cat and mouse, it’s going to be a war. Tyson has a fighter’s mentality. He’s not trying to duck out through contracts, through a backdoor method. He wanted the fight and Shelly and I worked together to make this happen. You cannot miss it. This will be one of the best heavyweight fights for a long time.
“Fury is traveling to the other guy’s backyard like he did when he went to Germany and took Klitschko to school. He’s going to take Deontay’s belt and this is a fight you cannot afford to miss.”
“This is a fight that has captivated America and will continue to captivate America. We have two mythical figures and that’s what people love about the heavyweight division; they are almost superheroes. In particular, these two individuals are the two largest men in the heavyweight division and I mean that in a physical sense as well as their personalities. On paper, in the ring, on the press tour, it’s a phenomenal matchup.”
First Fury vs. Wilder Press Conference Filled with Theatrics
By: Jake Donovan
With two more stops to go in their three-city press tour in as many days, Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury have already dipped deep into the promotional well to hype up their December 1 Showtime Pay-Per-View heavyweight title fight in Los Angeles.
The pair of colossal heavyweights met at BT Sport headquarters in London on Monday, with the session landing on the 43rd anniversary of the historic “Thrilla in Manila,” the unforgettable rubber match between late, legendary Hall of Fame heavyweights Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier.
Photo Credit: Mark Robinson/Showtime
Much of Monday’s session bore resemblance to the theatrics offered by Ali and Frazier in the buildup to their own fights, complete with Wilder and Fury threatening to throw down on stage at the back end of the 30-minute long press conference. The moment was reminiscent—if not a scripted replica—of Ali and Frazier taking off their sport jackets on the set of the Dick Cavett Show prior to their less-heralded second fight in 1974.
Thankfully, it didn’t devolve into the wrestling match that came of Ali and Frazier’s ABC in-studio fight week segment with Howard Cosell. At least not yet.
Civility was never promised nor expected between the two mouths that roar, despite the best efforts of the BT Sport team to restore order. In fact, Fury saw fit to take issue with his being introduced as the challenger to Wilder’s alphabet heavyweight title.
“I am no challenger for no man. I am the lineal champion of the word,” Fury insisted the moment ahead of the first question asked, referring to the World champion status he gained following his Nov. ’15 upset win over exiting lineal king Wladimir Klitschko. “That means I’m the very best. The elite champion. It’s two champions colliding, this is equal rights, champion versus champion. So rephrase your question and let’s start all over.”
That’s all it took to kick things off into high gear, despite the fact that the matchup functionally sells itself.
“It’s been a long time since the heavyweight division has had two champions like this, two champions at the top of their game and willing to fight each other,” noted Lou DiBella, Wilder’s promoter. “This isn’t rocket since. (Shelly Finkel) spent a lot of time trying to make a fight with another fighter from this country (unbeaten, unified heavyweight titlist Anthony Joshua) who didn’t want to fight.
“There was an opportunity – when that man came back and got himself in shape, Shelly and Frank (Warren) got together like that to make this fight happen. The winner of this fight on December 1 will be the best heavyweight in the world.”
In fact, their fight—which has been more than two years in the making—was first announced as official following Fury’s win over Francesco Pianeta on August 18 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Wilder was on hand for the Showtime-televied event, meeting Fury in the ring afterward to reveal their fight which at the time didn’t have a firm date or location.
With those issues worked out, the festivities have already begun. Still, there is official business to be handled once the fight begins on December 1. Naturally, both have predicted a knockout finish—an ending at least one side has experienced nearly every time out.
“I believe every word that I say. When I say I’m going to knock a man out and tell him where and how he may lay, it comes to pass,” insists Wilder (40-0, 39KOs), who—following his 1st round knockout of Bermane Stiverne in their rematch last November—can claim to have knocked out every opponent he has faced as a pro. “I’m all about devastating knockouts, that’s what I do. There’s no pressure on me. You just need to be there to witness it.”
The 2008 Olympic Bronze medalist will attempt the 7th defense of the title he won in a 12-round decision over Stiverne in Jan. ’15. It was the only time the fighting pride of Tuscaloosa, Alabama has been extended the distance in the pro ranks, getting his knockout fix in their aforementioned rematch.
Wilder has since registered arguably the most significant win of his career to date, rallying to knock out previously unbeaten Luis Ortiz this past March in Brooklyn. The bout came four weeks prior to Joshua’s eventual title unification points win over Joseph Parker, with Wilder naturally calling out the winner but only seeing his rivalry with Joshua limited to negotiating through the press and without an actual fight to show for it.
The concern over lining up a suitable Plan B was resolved once Fury and his team decided they were ready for a return to glory.
Fury (27-0, 19KOs) hadn’t fought for more than two years following his points win over Kltischko, having spent much of that time battling drug and alcohol addiction and mental health issues. The 6’9” Irish traveler—who was born and raised in England—returned to the ring this past June, stopping Sefer Seferi in four rounds before returning two months later, apparently carrying Pianeta in their largely forgettable ten round affair in August.
It was enough for Fury and his team to believe it was time to return to the championship level. With Joshua already locked into face Alexander Povetkin—whom he stopped in seven rounds last month—came the decision to pursue the best available heavyweight.
Now that he has Wilder in his crosshairs, Fury has already begun the type of head games that worked on Klitschko both in and out of the ring.
“The only thing I’m interested in is smashing Deontay Wilder’s teeth in. That’s it,” promised Fury, although he seems to be quite dug in regarding the promotional aspect of the event. “We’re here to see the biggest fight between the two best heavyweights of this generation. No 15 stone man on the planet can beat me.
“I will gladly prove what I’ve always know. I will smash his teeth in. Seven days a week, twice on Sunday – if we fought 30 times, I’d win 30 times. You ain’t ready for me. You never have been and never will be. All your knockout power and 10 men in the ring with you can’t beat Tyson Fury. I’m gonna make you f*** yourself.”
The comment came with an apology from BT Sport for the coarse language, but was quickly dismissed by its intended target.
“The antics you’re trying here, it’s not gonna work with me,” Wilder insisted. “I’m not Klitschko, this is Deontay Wilder.”
From there, the theatrics only continued to grow.
“Can we have a little spar now?,” Fury said, coming from behind his assigned seat to challenge Wilder to square off. “Let’s have a little tickle. Come on. Let me feel this power of the Alabama slammer. Come on. Let’s have a little body spar. I wanna feel it.”
Wilder did his best to play up to the moment, if only to remind his opponent where his own train of thought resides two months ahead of fight night.
“This is no game at this point,” Wilder replied. “This is real. As you see, we at the press conference. This is a real fight. We’re announcing this fight is on. So at this point in time, my mindset is on (fight night). You’re gonna feel every power you need to feel.”
Fury would feel a brief sample, although it can be argued that Wilder’s shove to his chest was more to keep the two at bay than for anything to actually pop off in the moment.
“You’re gonna feel everything you need to feel. Let’s do it. Let’s do it. Let’s make it happen. Let’s make it happen. Let’s make it happen. It’s getting real, baby.”
Perhaps not real enough to his challenger.
“My wife pushes harder than that, you little b*tch,” Fury shouted, as the two were immediately separated. “That was nothing. That’s pathetic. I wanna feel the power.
“You never even had the nuts to hit me, did ya? I wanna feel it. I don’t play games, dosser. I wanna play. Come on!”
Regardless of how real or manufactured the animosity is between Wilder and Fury, it’s clear that they are giving the boxing world plenty to talk about.
“It’s the fight that everyone is talking about, the fight that everyone wants to see,” Stephen Espinoza, president of Showtime Sports and Event Programming touted. “It’s a fight that has captivated America and will captivate America.”
All parties involved will have the chance to further validate that statement when everyone touches down in New York for Tuesday’s gathering.
Jon Jones Claims Interest in Seeing Him Take on Wilder and Joshua
By: Michael Kane
Jon Jones, one of the finest MMA fighters on the planet, has said ‘people’ want to see him take on Deontay Wilder and Anthony Joshua.
Just who these people are, no one knows.
Photo Credit: Jon Jones Twitter Account
Jones who has just had a 4 year suspension cut to 14 months by USADA for helping them in their investigations of the use of illegal substances within the UFC, is expected to make a return to the sport towards the end of the year.
With Conor McGregor having made a lot of money by facing Floyd Mayweather in the boxing ring, it seems Jones would like to so something similar.
“Right now my mindset is more about making money, even those big fights,” Jones told RT Sports.
“You know, I watched Conor McGregor fight Floyd Mayweather, and it was high risk, high reward. There’s a saying, ‘scared money don’t make money’. I gotta be brave when I get back in the game and start challenging guys that I could possibly lose to, because that’s what people want to see.”
The former light heavy weight UFC champion could make a return in the heavyweight division, especially as arch rival Daniel Cormier has become the heavyweight champion to add to the light heavyweight strap he holds.
It was the heavyweights in both sports that he gave a mention to.
“They want to see Jones versus Velasquez, they want to see Jones versus Ngannou, that’s what people want to see, and that’s where my mindset is,” Jones said.
“Jones versus Anthony Joshua, or Deontay Wilder, you know, that’s what people want to see.”
We’ll find out if the fan interest for the fight is there.
Wilder Trainer Mark Breland Weighs In On Upcoming Fury Bout
By: Sean Crose
“I don’t think they want the fight,” world welterweight champion turned top trainer Mark Breland told me earlier this summer. “When Joshua fights, he doesn’t talk.” The Joshua Breland was referring to, of course, was heavyweight multi-titlist Anthony Joshua, who holds every major belt in the division except for the WBCs famed green strap. That particular item is in the possession of the man Breland works with, Deontay Wilder, an individual who has been calling Joshua out for ages. That highly anticipated fight still hasn’t been made. What’s more, Joshua, unlike Wilder, “doesn’t talk” much about chomping at the bit to face his championship counterpart, leaving many to think – fairly or not – that the man isn’t interested in facing Wilder at the moment.
When we spoke in June, Breland made it clear he felt Joshua, who has defeated former long reigning champion Wladimir Klitschko in thrilling fashion, is content taking his time on the matter. “Eventually,” he told me, “they’re going to have to fight.” Breland indicated, however, that he doubted “it’s going to happen any time soon.” Breland also pointed out that Joshua was living high at the moment. “He doesn’t need Deontay,” Breland said of team Wilder’s mindset. “Deontay needs him.” How times change. Former heavyweight champ Tyson Fury, who wrested the title away from Klitschko in 2015, has come back to the ring after some hard times and is now set for a heavyweight superfight – against Wilder, not Joshua. No doubt it must seem strange to Joshua that the biggest heavyweight fight right now is between Wilder and Fury, a man who has dismissively referred to Joshua as “the other chump.”
Yet when we spoke on Sunday, Breland himself noted the strangeness of the sudden turn of events. “A little bit,” he said after I asked if he was surprised his fighter would soon be facing Fury in the ring. Wilder-Fury is a huge risk for both men, as a fight with Joshua would probably bring each fighter more money and accolades. As Wilder said over the weekend, though: “This is what we’ve been waiting for…the best fighting the best.” Wilder will have a challenge for himself when he faces Fury (the date and location of the match will be announced this week). Standing at almost six feet, nine inches in height, the Englishman can be incredibly – and surprisingly – slick.
“There’s going to be a slight difference,” Breland said of Wilder’s training camp this time, “because Tyson is tall.” Wilder, he says, will “just have to adjust to someone taller.” Breland, who was a gold medal Olympian, as well as a professional world titlist, still isn’t impressed with how Joshua is handling his career. “I’ve been in boxing for a long time,” he told me. “When you’re a champion…normally you have to face the (top) person whose up next.” Joshua’s next bout will be on September 22nd, when he faces Alexander Povetkin, a top challenger, but not a current or former titlist.
Tyson Fury vs. Deontay Wilder Heavyweight World Championship Announced For Later This Year
WBC Heavyweight World Champion Deontay Wilder and lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury announced on Saturday that they have agreed to a heavyweight showdown later this year. The announcement was made in Belfast immediately following’s the undefeated Fury’s shutout decision of Francesco Pianeta. VIDEO: https://s.sho.com/2vVYtlj
Wilder vs. Fury, a 12-round matchup for Wilder’s WBC Heavyweight World Championship, will be produced and distributed by SHOWTIME PPV. A date and venue for the event will be announced shortly.
The 6-foot-7 Wilder is 40-0 with 39 knockouts and American’s only heavyweight champion since 2007. The 6-foot-9 Fury is a former IBF, WBA and WBO Champion who has never been defeated in 27 professional fights.
The Ultimate Showdown of Boxer vs. Brawler: Fury vs. Wilder
By: Dylan Smith
The Battle of the Behemoth
Could this be it? The greatest pugilist Giants waging war to win the ultimate title of Super Heavyweight Champion of the world and could the victor be crowned as the GOAT?
Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder are the longest bodied out of the top ranked heavyweights in the world with a combined wingspan of over 5 meters and each stretching over 6 feet 7 inches tall. Tyson Fury is back in the ring and has proclaimed he wants to take back his titles, which he never lost in the ring and even go on to defend them to match the great Joe Luis’ record of number of defences. So far Fury has done what he set out to do by beating Vladimir Klitscho on his home turf against all the odds so why now, even after his 2 year lay off, should we doubt him? One of the reasons could be the climate of the heavyweight division has drastically changed with rough tough young competitors like Joseph Parker and hard hungry powerhouses like Dillian Whyte who pose massive threats to Tysons unbeaten record and dreams of a glory. The British public and the world however do love a comeback story and an underdog as they are dramatised in classic films such as Rocky. So has he got the minerals? Usually for such a large man you wouldn’t see this kind of movement however Tyson floats around the ring turning, slipping and ducking like a man half his size normally would. His technique is masterful and you can tell he has crafted his skill over a number of years, dedicated his life to boxing. Some say he doesn’t hit hard for a large heavyweight but even if he doesn’t hit like AJ or Wilder he more than makes up for it with precision, speed and timing with 19 ko’s out of 26 contests. Tyson Fury throws every punch in the book from every angle and has an awkward style where he can switch stances, fight long or up close, spoil and counter on the entry and exit from the clinch. He is used to going to the champions turf so will he be the man for the job and can he shock the world again and prove all the doubters wrong in becoming the
WBC heavyweight champion of the world?
Deontay wilder is an absolute knockout artist with a phenomenal record of 39 ko’s out of 40 contests in which he has knocked out every opponent he has ever faced as a professional in the squared circle, as in the rematch against Bermaine Stivern he managed to take him out in literally the last second of the first round. His name appropriately resonates his fighting style as he is famous for throwing wild hooks and hurtful haymakers. He started off more of a brawler and still is, however his skill set has massively improved over the years. He has honed in on his accuracy of shots and has a fantastic snappy jab, he also displays his improved boxing intelligence with the shot selections and combination punches he throws, displayed recently against Luis Ortiz where he annihilated him in the 10th round after being shook himself earlier in the fight. Still with all that skill he still loves to bang out that straight right hand and possesses that one punch knockout power that could shut anyones lights out if it touches them anywhere on the head. Wilder likes to brawl and bash his opponents, break them down and finish in fierce savage style. We can talk attributes: length; power; speed and both fighters tick all of the boxes, also both have unbeaten records. It will then be a case of who can make the other one fight their style. Fury will box and spoil and Wilder will shake him off and look for the overhand right as Tyson enters the clinch. Or will Wilder want to box long and display his pugilist skills and shock everyone like Fury did to Klitschko. The likelihood is however Fury will bob and weave and Wilder will get more and more desperate and keep firing the right hand until it finds a home on Fury’s head.
With the deal being reported by Frank Warren (Tyson Fury’s promoter) as nearly done for December we may see how it plays out. Are we going to be given an early Christmas present? Will we see these 2 colossals collide in the ultimate mammoth match of boxer versus brawler for the most prestigious title in Boxing? I hope so.
The Elite Boxers in the Heavyweight Division
By: Oliver McManus
Dillian Whyte and Dereck Chisora produced the two best performances of the night on Saturday at the O2 Arena and with that set up the potential for super fights across the heavyweight division, here we take a look at the five ‘elite’ heavyweights in the world and assess their credentials before a subsequent article next week will look at five ‘contenders’ –
Anthony Joshua – WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO Heavyweight Champion of the World
Where else to start but the face of heavyweight boxing? Anthony Joshua is capable of selling out Wembley Stadium with just the mere mention of his name and his record in the sport is simply remarkable – a gold medallist at his home Olympics in 2012, the pressure was always going to be on but, boy, has he handled the pressure supremely.
The 12th of December 2015 saw emotion seep into his fight-mentality for the first time as he let the rivalry between Dillian Whyte and himself get the better of his, previously, cool and calculated game plan with Joshua drawn into a firefight. Arguably that was the best thing that ever happened to him because it brought out a completely different animal within him, the killer instinct was born.
Wladimir Klitschko was legacy defining, there can be no other way of putting it, and whilst that clash highlighted the fact AJ was mortal – hard to believe, I know – you simply cannot knock the Watford-man for taking on and pulling off a feat of monumental proportions that many had previously tried and failed in, in only his 19th professional bout.
Oddly you could say his stock has fallen or, rather, the gap has got closer between himself and his closest competitors over the weekend with Chisora destroying Carlos Takam in a fashion far more convincing than Joshua and Dillian Whyte dropping Joseph Parker – once legitimately, once questionably – on the way to a unanimous decision.
Joshua is a rare breed of fighter in that he is seemingly willing to fight anyone and up against Alexander Povetkin in September he faces, previously, one of the most feared heavyweights in the world and, certainly, a huge puncher but someone that should be a relatively easy fight over Joshua’s last few tests.
2019, then, is the year for Anthony Joshua to continue in his pursuit of ever-lasting greatness.
Deontay Wilder – WBC Heavyweight Champion of the World
The ‘Punch’ to Anthony Joshua’s ‘Judy’ – a reference which anyone outside of the UK will need to Google – Deontay Wilder has a rather reasonable claim to being the hardest puncher in the current heavyweight division and is famed for his “windmill” shots which, when unloaded, signal a trademark finish to the fight.
Questions have, rightfully, been raised at the quality of Wilder’s recent opponents with the likes of Chris Arreola, Bermane Stiverne (the second time) and Artur Szpilka not exactly screaming “world class” but, having said that, Wilder has consistently dispatched the people put in front of him in a fashion you’d expect from the WBC Champion of the World.
Against ‘King Kong’ Luis Ortiz in March this year, the American was in the toughest fight of his career and took the best that Ortiz threw at him. Whilst the fight was a strong 50-50 prior to the stoppage that the Bronze Bomber managed to pull out of the bag, the contest showed that Wilder was capable of taking a shot to land a shot and that is the phrase that best defines his style.
Even when in with the best, genuine elite level fighters, he sticks to what he does well and that, very simply, is PUNCH. Now some may argue that shows a weakness in ability to adapt to the styles of challengers and whilst that is something that could be his downfall in the future, it’s worked with tremendous success thus far.
Not necessarily a household name in the United States – indeed you could say he’s more well-known on this side of the pond than in his own backyard – you can understand the strategy from those around him of building him up with all-American match-ups (Dominic Brezeale is rumoured to be the next defence) which enable him to gain profile and keep the belt with, relatively, easy fights.
BUT then comes the question of why on earth should a world champion need to have his profile built up? The fight with Anthony Joshua is a fight that NEEDS to happen in order for Deontay Wilder to be able to put to bed questions regarding the legitimacy of his reign and, for many, we’ve still yet to see the WBC champ fully tested.
Dillian Whyte – WBC Number 1 ranked heavyweight contender
Whyte proved his doubters wrong on Saturday with a scintillating win over Joseph Parker, make no mistake, he was sincerely rocked and challenged by the former WBO Champion, dropped to the canvas at one point, but what was most impressive about taking the barrage of punches was that he proved his chin has developed far more than anything else since he faced Anthony Joshua in 2015 –we always knew he had the agility, the power, the energy, that was never in question.
It’s hard to believe that it’s 18 months since Whyte went to war with Dereck Chisora, winning a split decision, but that bout seems to be symbolic of the way he goes about every fight – with an attitude of “guts and glory”, leaving everything on the line, and that’s something you cannot criticise because it produces excitement galore.
Up against Robert Helenius, Whyte really failed to click into gear when in the ring with the Nordic Nightmare and whilst the fight wasn’t aesthetically pleasing it was a valuable lesson for the Brixton Bomber because it showed him that, sometimes, you can’t go all-out for a knockout and have to box around the opposition, out-working them and simply fatiguing them into defeat.
With Deontay Wilder having been offered a princely sum – a career high pay day – to face Whyte (in the United Kingdom) and turning it down, there can be no doubt as to the stature of Eddie Hearn’s fighter and the attributes he possess all point to him being a world-champion in waiting.
Mild controversy erupted when he, and his team, turned down fights with Luis Ortiz and Kubrat Pulev in world title eliminators with many saying he was ducking the respective fighters but the fight with Joseph Parker seems to have answered all the questions being lobbied at him because whilst Parker isn’t as explosive as Ortiz he is faster, he is more sprightly and he’s every bit as technical as Pulev so, in a way, he got the best of both worlds.
I wouldn’t have said it three years ago but Dillian Whyte has proved me, and many critics wrong, and I’m happy to hold my hands up with regards to that because it was never anything personal but, for me, Dillian Whyte is the best heavyweight outside of the world title holders.
AJ in April? Sounds like a plan.
Kubrat Pulev – IBF Number 2 ranked heavyweight contender
Pulev is an interesting character, vastly underrated by fans and extensively avoided by fellow fighters, his technical style of boxing is one that hasn’t exactly played into his hands because with him not being a HUGE puncher, his technical and defensive aspect are exponentially enhanced and it makes him one heck of a challenge for anyone brave enough to take him on.
Dillian Whyte opted not to travel to Bulgaria to face Pulev and Jarrell Miller is another to have avoided stepping into unknown territory for the fight – which the IBF sanctioned, in both cases, as a final eliminator – and it’s not the location that is the sticking point but rather the risk-reward factor which strayed significantly into the risk region.
As I’ve said, Pulev relies on the technical fundamentals not to blast his opponents out of the ring but rather to get the better of them in the longer run, over the scheduled distance, with calculated punch output, shot selection, and beautifully timed footwork culminating in style of fighting bordering on art but so under-appreciated.
Another fighter to have taken on Dereck Chisora, emerge from the fight win the win and be levied with headlines of “Chisora fails to perform” as opposed to “Pulev outclasses Chisora”, Pulev hasn’t been one to avoid fights for the duration of his career and as a former European champion the Bulgarian has produced convincing wins on the big stage for a long, long time with the likes of Alexander Dimitrenko, Alexander Ustinov and Tony Thompson all falling foul of The Cobra’s leathal bite.
A former world title challenger Pulev has the experience of that level and whilst he’s not looked as sharp as his previous years, since his loss to Klitschko (in 2014) he has looked mentally more prepared whenever he steps in the ring – albeit against lesser opposition – and many were expecting him to provide Anthony Joshua with a stern test when they were scheduled to face-off and with Pulev back in the world title scene, there could still be life in the ageing cobra yet.
Tyson Fury – Lineal heavyweight champion of the world
This isn’t wrote in any order so before anyone gets in a huff as to my positioning of Fury in this list – or indeed my inclusion of him at all – let me explain why the lineal champion is in this “elite” overview;
Whatever you think of his last opponent – Sefer Seferi – Tyson Fury was the man who beat the man and, in doing so, made Klitschko look average and that is an achievement that simply cannot be overstated, it was beyond unexpected and Fury produced the goods.
Further to that his mental strength is, for me, the best of anyone in the division. He has had several well documented struggles and, let’s be clear, earned more than enough money for him to afford to retire and live comfortably for the rest of his life. So there was no need for Fury to comeback, he had proved his doubters wrong, but it was his inner motivation to prove that he was better than Joshua, better than Wilder, better than everyone that pushed him to return and lose 8stone in the process. That’s super-human.
Fury himself is unconventional in fighting style with the ability to switch stances with ease combined with his freakish height and surprisingly lucid movement marking him out as one of the most unpredictable men in the ring – one second he’ll be staring out into the crowd and the next launching a furious flurry into the body of his opponent.
And that is what marks him out from the other guys on this list because whilst they are all exceptional fighters in their own right, they are distinctly predictable – you know what you’re getting with each of them – but with Fury you get the impression that not even he knows. He’s no stranger to being an underdog, either, and dealing with the pressure of fighting in the away corner so his ability to handle those situations are incredible.
Fighting Francesco Pianeta on August 18th, Fury is targeting two further fights by the end of 2018 before mounting a serious challenge to the belts he used to own and with discussions already being held about the potential for a fight with Deontay Wilder, you’d be inclined to suggest it’s only a matter of time before he’s back where he belongs.
AND THERE WE HAVE IT, a look at the heavyweight elite boxers and of course the use of the term elite is entirely subjective, it’s merely my top 5 and there are plenty of guys that could have warranted being featured but, hey, nobody said it was easy!
Joshua, Povetkin, Wilder and Whyte – Amidst the Heavyweight Jungle
By: Daniel Smith
Alexander the “White Lion” Povetkin is certainly no palooka Joe opponent for the current WBA, WBO, IBO and IBF world heavyweight champion, Anthony Joshua. The Russian bulwark and former WBA champion comes equipped with explosive hooking-bombs and an attacking ferocity that’s set to a hair trigger. A steely seasoned pro, a lethal brawling-scrapper who conducts his affairs inside the ring without pomp, pretence or pantomime grudges for that matter. A rough, tough fighter, who’s more than ready to upset the order of the food-chain amidst the heavyweight jungle!
Let’s take an analysis of the hardboiled Russian’s attributes.
Povetkin – a 6ft 2″ and 16 stone, solidly conformed, power-punching, pit-bull of a man. A heavyweight brusier who blasts out opponents from his inside fighting style and punishing combinations. Povetkin’s not a man to be tangled with, as his impressive record of 34 wins in 35 fights demonstrates his fighting caliber. The former two time heavyweight, Ring Magazine, Lineal and WBO, WBA, IBO and IBF champion, Wladimir Klitschko is only man to have beaten the “White Lion” – a win that came by unanimous decision, not before the Russian was knocked-down in round 2 from a quick left hook, and 3 knockdowns in round 7.
However, since his defeat against “Dr Steel-Hammer”, Povetkin has showcased and examplified his brutish-brawling aptitude by contiuing his winning streak in his last six bouts – his most recent victory coming by way of a chilling knockout against the 6ft 7″ heavyweight, British contender, David Price. Povetkin, prior to the knockout was staggered backwards, crashing into the ropes in round 3 before recovering and deploying a sledge-hammering hook to the chin that rendered Price out for the count in round 5.
In addtion to the hardboiled Russian’s rampart-esque attributes; Povetkin is “no piece of cake” for any fighter, including Mr Joshua. His resilience, grit, iron-determination and his rapcious pangs to be world champion once again, position him within the mix of top-tier heavyweight lions that trade leather in the squared cirlce.
AJ – some have regarded the heavyweight champion as the ‘complete boxer’. A fighter who posseses a furnished slew of a proficient pugilistic attributes, whilst equally equipped to slug it out in a gritty brawl when the chips are down. You just have to look no further than his win over Wladimir Klitschko, back in 2017.
Joshua is a boxer who appears to prefer fighting guys of similar height and weight. In his last two bouts, AJ fought Carlos Takam and Joseph Parker – two relatively smaller fighters within the division and two guys who he didn’t blast out of the ring or chin with smashing uppercuts. But that said, I feel the days of Anthony whamming fighters across the ring, maybe drawing to a close.
Nowadays, AJ seems to tread with caution, taking a more strategic chess- match enforcement; utilising dynamics, fundamental advantages, such as speed, skill, reach, knowledge and now, experience, rather than emptying his tank after six or seven rounds from firing-out a barrage of sheer velocitised power-punchers. Joshua seems to struggle slightly when figting the smaller heavyweights – his punching power becomes somewhat blunted with the shift of gravitational direction, from channelling his momentum downwards instead straight ahead or up.
But I’m confident Josh’s record will be sporting another notch come September, 22nd, 2018, for he’ll undoubtedly treat the Povetkin fight with the respect and earnestness it demands, not looking past the extremely dangerous opponent who thretens his rein. However, if he does emerge as the victor against the solid Russian; would the unfication bout between himself and Deontay Wilder be back on the cards in 2019? I have to be honest – I’m not completely sure it will come to fruition.
And here’s my thoughts as to why.
Not for a moment do I believe AJ harbors any fear or doubts in his ability to beat Wilder, nor do I believe he is ‘ducking’ the WBC champion (even though that’s how it may appear to some). However, I do believe Joshua is conscious he would be facing an opponent that is capable of destryoing his Lineal champion dreams, by sparking him out-cold. It may well in fact be Matchroom who are calculating the “risks vs. benefits” assessment of a unification battle with “the bronze bomber”, Deontay Wilder. And it’s a possibilty Hearn who’s avoidng the clash, in an attempt to have another ‘sing-song around the money tree’ or to ‘make hay while the sun shines’, as the old phrases go.
So, what are the risks and benefits of the WBO, WBA, IBO and IBF world heavyweight champion, (21-0) Anthony vs. the WBC world heavyweight champion, (40-0), Deontay Wilder?
Let’s take a look.
Wilder – a formidable powerhouse banger who dishes out brutal beatdowns like they’re going out of style. A dangerous fighter, a certified knockout merchant whose punching power detonates on impact like brass knuckles shattering a glass jaw. A man whose boxing forte is not within the parameters of pugilistic sophistication; nor could he lay claim to any proficient technique or graceful footwork. However, Wilder more than compensates and counters with a raw, brutal strength and a primal-predatory ferocity that detects fighters vulnerabilities and weaknesses, like a shark sensing a mere droplet of blood in miles of ocean before attacking its prey.
A towering 6ft 7″, 15stone 10lbs, physical heavy weight- hybrid whose lanky- skinny legs scaffold a lean and muscled statue that configures a physique that becomes a perilous weapon of mayhem and destruction, throwing a torrent of hard-solid shots, wildly swinging muscly spaghetti-like arms in a frenzied punching onslaught, demolishing and obliterating fighters into a straggled heap.
Deontay is understandably frustrated, as he’s not being given the opportunity to display his devastating punching aptitude against AJ – and I’m sure he’s rehersed the fight a million times, as he envisions himself beneath the lights of the squared circle, in the midst of a sell-out rip-roaring, blood-thirsty arena crowd, while he throws mostrous knockout shots before the ref waves off the fight and he emerges as unified heavyweight champion of the world; carving out a legacy along with the memories of career best performance within a battlegound domain that’s embellsihed with the blood, sweat and spit of a classic bout between two hard-hitting heavyweights – the best of their era.
In my opinion, Joshua would be taking the greater risk in this bout as he would be trading leather with an extremely ferocious opponent in Wilder, with an uncalibrated distribution of the belts at stake. I suppose that’s why the proposed uneven see-saw of financial spoils are being generously distributed in Matchroom and AJ’s favour.
It’s fair to say, only relevant people involved from both camps truely know what’s going on and when or if the fight will ever happen. It’s evident there are risks involved for both men, as it’s the heavyweight divsion and it the world can come crasing down with one big punch.
So there’s obviously a lot going on behind the scenes we don’t know about. However, what we do know is Anthony Joshua’s takes on Povetkin, while Wilder will probably have to defend his title to the mandatory challenger, Dominic Breazeale (19-1).
However, outside Joshua and Wilder, Dillian “the body snatcher” Whyte is the one to watch and possiblly the sleeping, unification giant of the heavyweight divsion – providing he makes an example of Joseph Parker by way of knockout. A potential cracker-jack of a fight that takes place on July 28th, 2018 at London’s O2 arena.
Is Deontay Wilder Going Down a Nowhere Road?
By: Charles Jay
Well, I tried. I tried to give you guys the biggest fight of your lives, the most exciting fight in world history. The first undisputed, undefeated, WBC, WBA, WBO AND IBF unified Heavyweight Champion Of The World since Lewis.They tried too you know… They asked for jungle deep numbers. Just to get out of the fight not knowing we were hustlers so we served’em (The Money’s In Da Bag)Just like a game of spades… What he do? That Nicca Benig smdh Just told a bold face lie, he’s not a stand up guy. Instead, he wanted to fight in his country”I respect that”They offered me a “Flat Fee” Crack Head money, something that’s equivalent to a pack of peanuts and loaf bread and a jar of honey!Look I represent the Dirty South I am a product of my own environment. Bama is where I made it out.This survival food I’m use to it, So I said bet “Give me the gun ll do it”.I just basically took the lowest offer in boxing history for a unified title bout… smh”Brain Dead” My team and I bent over backwards pause accepting everything they threw at us just to find out this Boy is terrified of me P****.3 months of Tea Parties by grown men they didn’t even have British hospitality and offer biscuits w/ the tea smh Damn!I said all that past s*** to tell the story and to apologize , I’m sorry guys they played us all.F***’em!! We move forward the future is still bright #51-0 baby let’s go.
That is admittedly not the most cohesive statement on the part of Deontay Wilder, the WBC heavyweight champion. But you might get the point; he is disgusted that he isn’t getting his opportunity to unify the championship against Anthony Joshua – not right away, anyway, as Joshua must first satisfy a mandatory requirement to face Alexander Povetkin.
Have you ever heard of the “golden rule”? Well, let’s paraphrase it – he who mines the gold makes the rules.
And as far as this duo is concerned, guess who that is?
Well, until Wilder starts filling up Legion Field in his native Alabama, it’s the guy on the other side of the pond.
And so if he wants the big bucks, he’s going to have to wait a while. Does he really have a choice?
Earlier in the week, we wrote about the GGG-Canelo fight, and as a sidelight to that story, Gennady Golovkin was stripped of his IBF version of the title, essentially because he went and fought Vanes Martirosyan instead of their mandatory challenger. But the thing, having one less belt to fight for in that scheduled September 15 matchup doesn’t really make a whole lot of impact on whatever overall interest the fight generates.
In this particular case – that of Wilder and Joshua – it’s different. Let’s explain.
These guys are both heavyweight champions, but that isn’t the division that creates the automatic glamour it used to. Joshua is big over in the UK, of course, but he is not so much of a household name over here. Wilder has a sparkling record of 40-0 with 39 knockouts, but he hasn’t fought a glittering roster of opponents and isn’t exactly “instant money.”
The fact is, neither has shown the ability to carry a Pay Per View event on his own strength in the U.S. In fact, Joshua has not even fought in the States.
You see what Wilder leads with – describing “the biggest fight of your lives” as “The first undisputed, undefeated, WBC, WBA, WBO AND IBF unified Heavyweight Champion Of The World since Lewis..”
So the point is, this is a fight that would appear to NEED to be for the undisputed title, in order to have the kind of cachet needed to score big enough in the Pay Per View market to satisfy what the financial demands of these guys would be.
In other words, these fighters need all the belts because they are not yet at the point where they are bigger than the titles they have.
And contrary to the impression the Wilder camp might be looking to create, the World Boxing Association (WBA) didn’t just suddenly come into the picture. They had been demanding that Joshua face mandatory challenger Povetkin for some time. On April 29, the WBA gave their champion 30 days to make the fight with Povetkin (who is also the WBO’s #1), and then even gave him an extension beyond that, because they were allowing for the Wilder negotiations to take place.
And Wilder can’t say he isn’t familiar with mandatories; the WBC had required him to fight their mandatory challenger, Bernard Stiverne, a second time, and he did just that, stepping in as a substitute after Luis Ortiz had failed a drug test pursuant to their scheduled fight in November of last year.
Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing, who is Joshua’s promoter, revealed that he had given Wilder two weeks to make a deal back on June 4, and naturally that deadline wasn’t met, for whatever reason. At such point as the WBA felt the negotiations had stalled, they made the demand for Joshua to make a deal with Povetkin within 24 hours. As a result, we are looking at a September 22 date for that.
Also, the WBA probably wanted to put Povetkin into that fight, due to the strength of his connections. And let’s face it – the WBA is going to do whatever it wants anyway; how else could one explain why they have kept Fres Oquendo in the picture as a mandatory challenger for their “regular” title for over four years, despite not being court-ordered to do so?
And hey – we’re not saying that Hearn didn’t want to avoid a Wilder deal, as has been implied, for the time being. Who knows?
But the fact of the matter – as we sit here today – is that if Joshua fights Wilder and not Povetkin first, we wouldn’t have an undisputed title fight anymore. Someone else would be the “real” WBA champion.
According to Shelly Finkel, Wilder’s co-manager, the offer to go to the UK was $15 million with a rematch clause. It wasn’t exactly “crack head money.” Instead, it was many times more than the career-high $2.1 million he reportedly earned when he eventually fought Ortiz.
When he mentions a “flat fee,” Wilder is making references to that offer, relative to what he his team (which includes Finkel and advisor Al Haymon) had previously proposed, which involved $50 million to Joshua to come to the States. This is the email sent from Finkel to Hearn, as it was reproduced at the Daily Express, a British news site:
With all due respect you know Al and I for a long time and you know this is not a Publicity stunt. I assure you that we’re serious and we would be glad to sit down with you and provide proper security for the funding and work out all the details. But it all has to start with Anthony Joshua accepting the $50 million offer that he asked for, which is also by far the largest guarantee and largest purse any heavyweight champion has ever made. Until then, it would be non-productive to meet. Please have Anthony accept the offer that he asked for and let’s get this fight made.
As far as that $50 million offer is concerned; well, if you remember one thing about professional boxing, remember this:
When it comes to the big money, there is never a deal until the contract is signed.
From Hearn’s standpoint, he never saw a contract and therefore was not just going to take it on faith that the money was real.
And the WBA just went down that road with the purse bid for their “regular” title, as a group connected to Oquendo and Chicago promoter Bobby Hitz came up empty when it was time to secure their $600,000 bid, ultimately leading to that fight (against “champion” Manuel Charr) being taken out of the Windy City and over to Germany.
There is a difference between wishing and hoping that you can produce enough revenue to support an offer, and actually having the strength to make a guarantee based on having those funds on hand, or knowing exactly where they are coming from. We’re not saying that they couldn’t get the money, but they may have been basing their offer on some unreasonably optimistic estimates. From what we’ve been able to ascertain, Wilder had been penciled in for about $12.5 million in this deal. So why wasn’t the $15 million offer from Hearn a better one? Because Wilder’s expectation is that he, and not Joshua, would participate in the upside from the offer described in Finkel’s letter, which, as mentioned, mandated that the fight take place on U.S. soil.
So would there indeed be some upside? Well, if you’ve got anywhere from $65-$70 million all-in, you are going to have to do a monster gate as a high-ticket item in Las Vegas, or, as we alluded to earlier in the story, sell out a place like Legion Field in Wilder’s home territory of Birmingham, which has over 71,000 seats. And a boatload of Joshua fans from overseas would have to make the trip. They’d have to get a very lucrative sponsorship deal of some kind. They would most likely have to do in excess of a million buys on Pay Per View in the United States. And they would have to do extremely well in the European PPV market.
I don’t really see it, though I could be wrong. Maybe it’s there. Maybe they had a way to secure those funds. But it’s a moot point now. And of course, we leave open the possibility that Joshua just doesn’t want to come and fight Wilder in the U.S.
Let’s also leave open the possibility that Wilder doesn’t want to fight Joshua at all.
Because now we have come to the next phase, which is the part where Wilder has now turned down an offer of $20 million from Hearn, who would allow him to fight an opponent, pretty much of his own choosing, in September or October (for $5 million), followed by an April bout at Wembley Stadium for the aforementioned $15 million.
He’s got a whole different idea of himself now.
As he told Brendan Schaub on an upcoming installment of Showtime’s “Below the Belt,” he’s not taking anything less than a 50-50 split.
In what universe would Deontay Wilder command financial parity with someone who can sell out a 90,000-seat stadium? Who made a reported $18 million for fighting Joey Parker and well over $20 million to fight Wladimir Klitschko? If Wilder was at that level, the 32-year-old, who has made seven defenses of his WBC title, would have made far more than a career-high of $2.1 million in a single fight. Truth be told, this fight would sell a lot more tickets in Birmingham, England than it would in Birmingham, Alabama.
I’m fairly certain Wilder isn’t increasing his value a whole lot here.
This isn’t the playground. It’s a business. And just as important as being able to exercise leverage is knowing when the other side can leverage YOU, because that’s how you determine when you have a deal you should take. Shelly Finkel ought to know this better than anybody.
And here are the basics of it: Deontay Wilder needs Anthony Joshua a lot more than Anthony Joshua needs Deontay Wilder. That is probably the MOST undisputed thing about this matchup.
As for Eddie Hearn; well, he is going to have his deal with streaming service DAZN in place, whether Wilder is on the menu or not. And although these events are ever-changing, he may just let Wilder sweat it out, trying to find someone to make a huge payday with. That road might lead nowhere.
Wilder told a reporter from British Boxing News on Friday, “I’m just glad the blindfolds are off the people’s eyes. Even casual fans can see what happened.”
Well, if you made me guess, I’d say even the casual observer has to wonder who’s driving the bus.
Joshua-Wilder Negotiations Fall Flat- Joshua to Face Povetkin Next
By: Sean Crose
After much hype and speculation about multi-tilist Anthony Joshua facing off against WBC titlist Deontay Wilder in a superfight for heavyweight supremacy, news has arrived that a Joshua-Wilder match won’t be happening in the near future. Instead, England’s Joshua will be facing Russia’s Alexander Povetkin, a mandatory for Joshua’s WBA belt. “We’re fighting Povetkin in September,” said Joshua promoter Eddie Hearn, “and we’re looking at multiple venues and dates.”
The thirty eight year old Povetkin was supposed to fight Wilder in May of 2016, but Povetkin tested positive for the banned substance meldonium, which led to the bout being scratched. Known as a formidable heavyweight, Povetkin’s one loss in 35 fights came against Wladimir Klitschko back when the Ukrainian dominated the division in 2013. Since that time, Povetkin has gone on to win eight straight, his last victory being a fifth round knockout of David Price in March of this year.
Joshua, on the other hand, boasts a 21-0 record and has ended all but one fight by knockout. He’s known to sell out entire stadiums in Great Britain and is now regarded as the sport’s biggest star aside from Canelo Alvarez. The WBA reportedly demanded Joshua fight Povetkin, under the threat of taking their title from around his waist.
“The WBA have allowed over a month extension to negotiations with Povetkin and also ongoing discussions with Deontay Wilder,” WBA President Gilberto Mendoza claimed on Tuesday. “It appears the Wilder team have not returned the contract for the fight and therefore we are requesting a date for the Joshua versus Povetkin fight with immediate effect.” Hearn subsequently responded that team Wilder would adhere to the WBA’s demands.
Some took to the internet to declare that the entire matter was concocted so that Joshua could avoid Wilder, his 40-0 American counterpart (like Joshua, Wilder has won all but one of his victories by knockout). Although both camps blame the other for a Joshua-Wilder throwdown not happening in the fall, Hearn has taken to pushing the chances of Povetkin in the September contest. “I think it’s a mad fight to take with the Wilder fight at the door,” said Hearn of the Povetkin bout, “but that’s AJ.”
“By (Joshua) fighting these guys,” Hearn claimed, “Wilder can’t say he’s afraid to fight him.” Wilder’s very public comments on the matter have suggested otherwise. “You coward ass bitch,” Wilder tweeted on Tuesday. “Had the world waiting for 3 months playing games just for this moment. You’re not a true champion!! You’re just a weak minded coward that’s holding hard metal. #Facts”
The most telling quote on the entire matter may have come from former heavyweight king Lennox Lewis, who weighed in on Thursday. “They way I see, it” he tweeted, “AJ is the man. He gets to choose time and place for first fight. I’d make Wilder come to me also… but from what I see from Wilder, he’s willing to… and this is same attitude i would have. When the HW division finally has a pulse, we need action not talk!”
Mark Breland On Team Joshua: “They Want Deontay To Fight Somebody Else”
by: Sean Crose
There was much hope earlier in the week that a heavyweight superfight between WBC heavyweight titlist, American Deontay Wilder and British multi-titlist Anthony Joshua would come to fruition. “BREAKING NEWS for all you @anthonyfjoshua fans,” Wilder tweeted. “The $50M offer for him to fight me next 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.”
In the matter of a few days, however, the excitement of the fight world began to fizzle.
There is now a growing belief that Joshua, who is known to sell out entire stadiums, or his team, are not particularly eager to get in the ring with Wilder at any point in the near future, even though it’s clear Joshua would be the favorite walking in. One particular person who doesn’t think team Joshua wants a piece of Wilder at the moment is Wilder’s own trainer, Mark Breland. Breland, a former Olympic gold medalist turned multi-time world welterweight champion admits that “eventually, they’re going to have to fight,” but he doesn’t believe “it’s going to happen any time soon.”
Breland, an extremely tall welterweight in his time (over six feet in height) has done exceptionally well with his supersized pupil, but is nearly Wilder’s polar opposite when it comes to personalities. Whereas Wilder has become famous for being loud and brash, Breland is quite and polite. He’s the nice guy to Wilder’s bad boy. Still, Breland isn’t a man to mince words. This is particularly true when it comes to team Joshua. “I don’t think they want the fight,” he says frankly. Breland makes it clear that, while Wilder is forever calling out Joshua whenever he fights, “when Joshua fights, he doesn’t talk.”
The perceived lack of a mutual eagerness to get in the ring hasn’t gone unnoticed. And while few would accuse Joshua of being fearful of Wilder, Breland feels the Joshua camp’s sentiment is “he doesn’t need Deontay. Deontay needs him.” Breland points out, however, that Wilder holds the WBC belt, long regarded as the crown jewel of boxing titles. “He’s got the top belt,” Breland says of Wilder, knowing that, without it, Joshua will never be seen as a completely dominant champ. In the meantime, Breland feels as if Joshua won’t be facing the kind of competition he should. “Ortiz,” he points out as an example. “That’s one fight they will not take.”
Although Wilder is the biggest fight that can be made at heavyweight, Breland believes team Joshua, led by Joshua and promoter Eddie Hearn, are clearly willing to buck fan sentiment, at least for the time being. “They want Deontay to fight somebody else,” he says.