Heavyweight kings getting ready to rumble

Sports | 13 Jun 2018

Unbeaten heavyweight champions Deontay Wilder and Anthony Joshua appear poised for a title unification bout.

The two camps have agreed terms on a fight in Britain sometime this fall for less money than Wilder's initial offer, his trainer Jay Deas said. "They offered and we accepted," he said, adding that the American's camp would push for a signed contract this week.

The fight could be held as late as November, Deas said, to avoid conflict with a potential Canelo Alvarez-Gennady Golovkin rematch in September. The venue and date are up to Joshua's camp.

A huge draw in his native Britain, Joshua's last two fights have been at the 74,500-seat Principality Stadium in Cardiff.

"We offered US$50 million (HK$392.33 million), which is what he said he wanted," Deas said. "And he then turned it down. Then they came back with a much, much, much smaller offer for Deontay, which would have been even less than Deontay would have made in the United States, and wanted him to still travel to the UK for the fight. And we said yes.

"The reason we did was because Deontay is investing in himself. He wants this for the fans and his legacy - and he knows that being the undisputed heavyweight champ of the world will give him the financial gain as he proceeds."

WBC champion Wilder, 32, is unbeaten in 40 fights with 39 knockouts. Joshua, 28, holds the other belts and is 21-0 with 20 knockouts.

Wilder posted on Twitter that the US$50 million offer for Joshua to fight in America is still on the table. "Today I even agreed to their offer to fight Joshua next in the UK," he said. "If he prefers the fight in the UK, the ball is in their court. It's up to them to choose."


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