June 8, 2023

Had Joshua not turned down the big-money move to fight on Showtime, Fury would never have replaced him against Wilder. The unified champion may have suffered a loss to Wilder – as he did not long after against Andy Ruiz Jr. That would have subsequently left Fury out of the picture. Destiny seems to have certainly played a part as Joshua and Fury will eventually lock horns in a reported $275 million event this year. Almost three years ago, n a stunning turn of events unfolded when Wilder put together a $50m guaranteed 50% package for Joshua to face him in an undisputed heavyweight title clash in Las Vegas. Previously, and when offering Wilder a quarter of that figure himself, Joshua had stated that he would accept the deal if provided in that capacity in more than one interview. “Deontay Wilder, say he gave me 50 million dollars. If he gives me $50m, I’ll accept the fight the next day. I swear,” Joshua had famously stated.

‘The Bronze Bomber’ found backing to make the deal. Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn believed it could be financial suicide for Wilder’s representatives. Not so. Hearns predicted the fight would only generate $40m in the United States. It was not taking into account the immediate rematch revenue. Showtime Pay-Per-View was ready to back the fight and had the T-Mobile Arena and MGM Grand on board with plenty of spare time. The fight’s build-up would have been the most epic heavyweight battle in recent years and certainly had sponsors clamoring to be on board.

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