It has been well publicized in recent times that a $50 million dollar offer from WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder’s team was not accepted by Anthony Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn. Hearn has always maintained that there was a number of things that needed to be discussed before accepting the offer. The term ‘proof of funds’ has been heavily circulated – but now he’s named more factors.
The fight isn’t happening for now. That much is certain.
A date next April however is currently being held open for the Joshua vs Wilder fight but the deadline for the contract to be signed and the current flat fee offer of $15 million for Wilder expires next month.
Just before the Joshua vs Povetkin fight on September 22nd.
Wilder finds himself on the verge of signing a big deal to fight Tyson Fury in the US this November or December and will be in the UK this weekend to watch Fury’s fight with Pianeta.
Fury obviously needs to win to make the Wilder fight a reality, mind you.
A lot has been said over the past few months between Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn and Wilder’s manager Shelly Finkel.
Speaking today, Hearn gave five reasons why the initial $50 million tabled to Joshua was not signed by him or accepted:
“Where it is, our existing broadcast contracts, where the money is coming from and how it is paid, officials, media obligations to name a few more. If you don’t think a meeting is valid to discuss an offer with so much uncertainty then we should end this convo right now.”
Lets break those five down quickly.
Existing broadcast contracts
At the time of the offer Joshua was a Showtime fighter in the US but since he has changed to DAZN for his fight with Povetkin on September 22nd.
What Eddie was referring to most likely was would the offer affect any other agreements that Joshua may have had in place with Showtime at the time.
Or more likely, would it affect what Sky Sports in the UK would have wanted in terms of things like what time the fight would be shown in the UK.
Hearn has an agreement with Sky that he is bound to as their exclusive boxing promoter which needs to be factored in for international fights outside of the UK too if they are also being shown on Sky.
Where the money is coming from
The famous ‘proof of funds’ line. In a deal this big it is pretty standard in business. Essentially, proving that the funds are there and secured well in advanced of a fight taking place.
People like Showtime, Al Haymon and Shelly Finkel have a lot of experience in putting together big fights over the years though, much bigger than Joshua vs Wilder. Al Haymon has been a part of all Floyd Mayweather’s major fights over the years.
This would not have been a problem in theory but would need Eddie to elaborate a little more.
How it is paid
Would it be paid by an Escrow bank account for example?
What Escrow refers to for those who may not have heard of the term is a legally binding entity or middleman that controls funds between a buyer and a seller of a good / service that does not release the funds of a buyer to a seller until a said action is executed in a contract.
This doesn’t seem likely for people like Eddie Hearn, Showtime, Al Haymon and Shelly Finkel as they’ve put on many big fights over the years and have form.
Also, this could refer to things like bank transfer or other payment methods for the funds to be transferred, what date exactly the transfer of the funds would occur, what time the transfer would be initiated from the sender’s jurisdiction and time zone.
This would allow for an estimate delivery in business days of an international transfer in terms of figuring out when it arrives in the sellers bank account.
This would allow for the planning of how the funds would be divided up between the promoter, who usually takes a 20% cut (Matchroom’s cut approximately) with the rest to the fighter (Joshua).
He would also need to know the above information so he could plan on when he would be paying his trainer, management company and any other expenses he would need to forecast in his cash flow forecast (legal fees, accountant fees, sparring partners, travel, tax, etc).
Upfront costs of the show would be born by Matchroom if they were lead promoter or in the above scenario’s offer from the States – the parties in the US if the fight was happening in the US.
Would these be neutral officials so that there is no biased towards one fighter over another if the fight went the distance?
Who are the officials exactly and what is there previous refereeing and judging experience of a high level championship fight?
These are things that an away fighter and his promoter would likely be wondering about.
How often will the fighters need to be available for media interviews, press conferences and phone media conferences ahead of the fight?
This would want to be known as any time that takes away from a fighter’s training camp can be detrimental.
If the fight was happening in the US for example, likely Eddie wanted to know if Joshua was needed for international travel back and forth from the UK which takes away time from his training camp.
Also it would determine if he needed to have part of his training camp in the US if the fight took place over there – and visa versa for Wilder.
All in all, these are pretty standard requests and one suspects if the fight does happen next year, finally, then these will be addressed.