Wilder, Joshua agree to fight deal

Anthony Joshua

After negotiations seemingly stalled for the bout, which would decide the first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis, it was expected that both Joshua and Wilder would go down the route of mandatory defences in the autumn. Not as good as we feel it should be, but we want the fight and we're willing to take what they offered.

Wilder posted the above tweet before his manager, Shelly Finkel, confirmed to ESPN that they had finally agreed to the terms set out by Joshua and promoter Eddie Hearn. The ball is in their court.

'The $50M offer for Joshua to fight me next in the U.S.is still available to him if he wants it. It's up to them to choose United States or UK.

Matchroom boss Hearn is believed to have made a counter offer, which would see Wilder challenge Joshua in his backyard and take home a smaller fight purse. "We wanted a percentage, but we didn't think we could get it done in a quick time frame, so we said let's take what they've offered us".

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Joshua will put the IBF, WBA, WBO and IBO titles on the line, while Wilder is the WBC champion. "All they have to do is tell us where to be and when to be there, and we'll be there". It will take place in the United Kingdom either September or October according to Eddie Hearn. A Joshua-Wilder fight on the service would raise its now nonexistent American profile, but it would also limit the USA revenue for the bout.

Russian Alexander Povetkin is the WBA's mandatory challenger and is close to a deal to fight Joshua, although Joshua could face Wilder first if Povetkin is able to fight the victor. Not only does he hold a majority of the prominent belts, his victory in a war over onetime long reigning division king Wladimir Kltischko established the fighter as the man to beat throughout the fight world.

Joshua, 28, won his first world title in 2016 and has made five defenses, taking his record to 21-0 with 20 knockouts.

Wilder's team hope to have the contracts for the fight in the next 48 hours as the deal edges closer.

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