Former heavyweight champion Wilder, 37, was on course to face Joshua when both men were dominating the heavyweight title picture. The four-belt unification fight fizzled out as Joshua turned down a whopping $50million offer to face 'The Bronze Bomber' in Las Vegas, according to Wilder's manager Shelly Finkel. The ordeal left Wilder frustrated and in tears after agreeing to Joshua's terms.
"I was on the phone with Deontay when it came that they weren’t going to fight us. He cried he was so upset," Finkel told SunSport. "I bet you Joshua didn’t and if he did, it was from relief. Deontay was on the phone and he went, ‘Oh no, I gave him everything he wanted.'
"Joshua said, ‘If I get $50milion I’ll fight.’ We offered him $50million for Las Vegas, he didn’t take it. He didn’t want to fight us, and you know, that’s his prerogative. But he can’t tell the public that he doesn’t want to fight Deontay.
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'AJ' is expected to face Jermaine Franklin on April 1 at The O2 arena as the Brit looks to get back to winning ways having lost his past two fights to Oleksandr Usyk. Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn has laid out a roadmap that involves a fight with Dillian Whyte in the summer before facing Wilder at the end of the year.
Finkel would prefer to have Wilder face Joshua in the summer but is open to the fight taking place in November or December. “We could make it for the summer, as long as neither fighter loses or is injured, the fight can happen. Period. But somehow - and you can mark it down - Anthony Joshua will try wiggle into a fight in the summer with Dillian Whyte.
"I’d even go as far to say, lock in now November or December for Deontay and Joshua. They want to take an easy fight just to get back in the ring and I don’t blame them. He then wants to fight Dillian Whyte and then they say they’ll either fight Fury or us," Finkel added.
"I didn’t think so before as much, but I do think Joshua is concerned, I don’t want to say afraid, of fighting Deontay Wilder. There’s no other explanation for his actions and if he fights Fury, he’s not going to crush you like he would with a big punch from Deontay.”