Anthony Joshua needs to push his promoter harder to seal the deal to fight Deontay Wilder. That is the opinion of the last man to be crowned the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world.
In fact, that all-time great heavyweight has come off of the fence to suggest all the pushing has come from the side of Deontay Wilder.
Negotiations to crown an undisputed heavyweight king began on April 10th of this year. Months of posturing ensued including a $50m dollar offer for the British champion to fight stateside. However, as of this writing, we are no closer to a deal being signed. With the American camp not satisfied with the $15m flat fee offer that remains on the table.
What Lewis had to say.
“Go order Eddie Hearn to make the fight with Deontay Wilder. Now is the moment when you must take charge of your own destiny. There is no question that it is Wilder who wants the fight and it is Wilder who wants to prove that he is the man in this new heavyweight era,” Lewis told Jeff Powell of Daily Mail.
“He explained to me all the difficulties he is having with Anthony and Eddie, of how AJ is listening to Hearn. Deontay most definitely wants this fight more than any fight. Joshua said he would take fifty million dollars in a heart-beat but when that offer came he didn’t accept. I would have taken fifty million quicker than a heart-beat and gone through with any fight. But I never ducked anyone.
But of course, Lewis himself was no stranger to chasing a fight that never came to fruition. Was he …
“Bowe did everything he could to avoid fighting me but I forced the situation. I did so by ordering my manager Frank Maloney to go out and do whatever it took to make the fight. Yes or yes. No arguments. Then Riddick had to meet me or vacate. It comes to the point where the boxer has to take over from the manager or promoter as The Boss. Oscar De La Hoya and me were the first to take charge of our business. I took control of my destiny and opened up my chance for greatness. Anthony needs to do the same with Eddie.”
Lewis really made a statement. Imploring both men to sign on the dotted line, or regret it. Talking to Steve Bunce in an ESPN article.
“It has to happen and they need to negotiate,” Lewis said. “If they don’t fight each other they will regret it forever and that is because it will become part of a big debate: Would Joshua have won, would Wilder have won?
“I had that with Mike Tyson and I had to tell my manager Frank Maloney to go out and make the fight happen — I never wanted to be part of a great debate: I wanted people to know who the King was.”
Who really is the heavyweight king? Is it Joshua? Is it Wilder? Or is Tyson Fury here to rain on both men’s parades. I hope we find out sooner rather than later ladies and gentleman … i really do.