WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder and his team recently expressed confidence that a bout between Wilder and Anthony Joseph will happen sooner rather than later, and there are reportedly 50 million reasons why.
The Associated Press reports Wilder reiterated a previous offer of guaranteeing Joseph at least $50 million during Wilder’s appearance at Talladega Superspeedway Saturday. Wilder was at the event on behalf of NASCAR serving as the honorary pace car driver and reportedly said the bout with Joshua “will definitely happen.”
“If Joshua and his team are smart enough, they’ll take this fight and take it soon,” Wilder said. “We’re not going to be waiting. The offer’s on the table: $50 million and he gets 50-50 split upward, so he can make even more money than that. That’s a lot of money to turn down and I know he’s not Dave Chappelle, so it’s going to happen.”
The talk about the high-dollar fight managed to spill over to Instagram a few days earlier.
🚨 Anthony Joshua has RESPONDED to Deontay Wilder's $50m guaranteed offer on Instagram 🚨— Michael Benson (@MichaelBensonn) April 25, 2018
"LET'S ROLL" pic.twitter.com/iMDnSQnw1E
In recent comments made to Sky News, Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn didn’t share Wilder’s confidence the bout would take place.
“It’s all very bizarre,” Hearn said. “I returned the email of Deontay Wilder and said, ‘We are very interested in making this fight, please send us a draft contract.’ He replied and said, ‘You have to accept the fight and then we will send you the contract. I’ve never known anything so bizarre since I’ve worked in boxing.”
Financial implications aside, a title match between Joshua and Wilder would accomplish the rare feat of unifying the heavyweight division. Joshua holds the IBF, WBA (Super), IBO, and WBO heavyweight titles, while Wilder holds the WBC title.