Former world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury claims that Anthony Joshua was offered $80 million for two fights with undefeated heavyweight Deontay Wilder.
Fury will fight Wilder in Los Angeles in December as he continues his comeback from an extended lay-off while Wilder will be looking for the 41st win of his career in what should be his biggest fight to date.
Wilder was long rumoured to fight Joshua but negotiations between the two camps repeatedly broke down with the American offering Joshua and his camp $50 million to take the fight back in April while Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn blasted Wilder as an idiot earlier this week for wanting a 60/40 split for the fight.
Fury went on the Joe Rogan Experience this week to discuss his upcoming fight with Wilder as well as his mental health struggles and comeback and during the podcast he claimed that Joshua had been offered $80 million to fight Wilder.
“$50 million for the first fight and $30 million for the rematch if Joshua lost and they declined that. My lawyer Robert Davis has said that he saw proof of funds from Al Haymon [Wilder’s adviser] so Eddie Hearn and his chum buddies can all say this, that and the other but I know the truth because proof of funds were seen.”
Fury added that he believes that the reluctance to make the fight came from Joshua’s camp and that it does not make financial sense to square him off against a dangerous opponent with a comparatively lesser known public profile.
“I don’t think it’s about either fighter, I think it’s bigger than that. It’s keeping the golden goose laying eggs and looking after it. The thing with Anthony Joshua is that he’s an Olympic gold medalist and he’s a massive star. He sells out stadiums – 70,000, 90,000 – huge star.
“Why would you want to get him beat by someone that nobody has really heard of?”
Hearn said that he had made an improved offer to Wilder’s manager Shelly Finkel following Joshua’s latest win over Alexander Povetkin in London last month but Finkel has refused to meet with him until after Wilder has fought Tyson Fury.
“We sent them a better offer than last time – it is a percentage plus a guarantee plus a two-way rematch – but when I asked for a meeting they said no,” Hearn told reporters earlier this month. “It is frustrating because people will accuse us and Joshua of not wanting the fight but how can you not even have a meeting to discuss the biggest fight in world boxing? How? Even just to say no?
“When you want to buy a car that is 30 grand and you offer 20, the bloke doesn’t walk off, he has a chat. It is really frustrating. It puts a Wilder fight on April 13 in jeopardy because we will wait to December 1 but we need to be in a position where we are close.
“We will come to the fight with a contract that night and sign it then but if we wait until December to even start talking, then before long it will be Christmas, then January, and April is a non-starter.”