Wilder gives clear answer on Hearn link up to help make Joshua fight

Deontay Wilder has dashed all hopes of him signing with Matchroom Boxing chief Eddie Hearn. The Bronze Bomber recently became a free agent after parting ways with long-term promoter Premier Boxing Champions (PBC).

Wilder terminated his contract with the American outfit after growing increasingly frustrated by the financial side of his deal for the proposed WBC final eliminator bout with Andy Ruiz Jr. Shortly after, esteemed boxing journalist Mike Coppinger reported that Wilder was ‘fielding offers’ from other promoters for his next fight.

And Hearn expressed a clear interest in acquiring the services of the American puncher. “Absolutely. We’d love to,” he told iFL TV. “I would love to make Deontay Wilder against Andy Ruiz. I think it’s a great fight, it’s been ordered, and we’d love to try and make it happen… Free agent. There you go.”

However, Wilder has shut down the possibility. Signing with Hearn would make negotiations much smoother for a potential fight with Joshua down the road but that does not appear to be a part of Wilder’s immediate plans. When asked if there is any truth to him signing with Hearn, Wilder replied: “That’s a negative.”

Hearn has declared interest in staging a blockbuster showdown between Wilder and Anthony Joshua at the back end of the year after multiple failed attempts at getting it past the negotiation table. They came closest to getting a deal done in 2018 when both men held all four major sanctioning body world titles between them.

Wilder offered Joshua £41million ($50m) upfront to fight him but AJ rejected it on grounds that it ‘clashed with his partnerships’. Since then, Hearn has tried to get a deal done but Wilder appears to have lost patience.


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Among the other potential suitors for Wilder is Skills Challenge Entertainment, the Saudi Arabian sports entertainment agency which played host to Jake Paul and Tommy Fury’s long-awaited grudge match in the Kingdom on Sunday night.

Wilder went out to watch the event and talk business with the Saudis, who are extremely keen on working with Wilder. Skills Challenge Entertainment head of boxing, Amer Abdallah exclusively told Express Sport earlier this month: “I’d love to do something with Deontay [Wilder] whether it’s Deontay vs Andy Ruiz or Deontay vs [Francis] Ngannou, which there’s talks about.”

A fight with Francis Ngannou looks to be the most likely option. Speaking to assembled media, he revealed that he is currently negotiating a two-fight deal with the ex-UFC heavyweight champion. “That is a real discussion,” he said. “We try to do a two-fight deal, one maybe here [Saudi Arabia] and the other one in Africa. I may be fighting between May and June, and then December.” 

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