Joshua will now proceed and fight his WBA mandatory, Alexander Povetkin, instead
It has now been officially confirmed that Anthony Joshua v Deontay Wilder is not happening in 2018 by the American’s co-manager, Shelly Finkel.
It was revealed on Tuesday morning that the WBA had lost patience with negotiations for the fight which had dragged on well beyond their initial May 5 deadline.
The sanctioning body declared that they had provided multiple exceptions in order to allow the two camps to make the undisputed heavyweight unification fight, however they could no longer delay their mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin.
Therefore, they ordered Joshua to fight Povetkin and, as a result, Finkel claims Anthony Joshua’s team concluded talks.
“Today I get a letter saying: ‘We’re not going to fight you next, but we’ll fight you the fight after that,’” he told World Boxing News.
“The fact is they didn’t want this fight.
“He asked for $ 50m, never thinking we’d come up with it. When we came up with it, he said, ‘I don’t want to fight in the United States, I’ll take it for less in the UK.’
“He sent us a bull**** offer [$ 15m] thinking we’ll never take it, and we took it.
“Then they said, ‘what do we do now?’ Let’s send them a contract. Except, the contract doesn’t have when the fight will be or where it will be.”
“I never said to Eddie Hearn I would be sending back comments, I wrote to him saying I’m sending back the contract. And he knows the contract would have been signed.
“That’s why today, and all of a sudden, the WBA have turned around and given 24 hours.”
An incensed Finkel also let slip the target date intending to make the fight next year.
“It will be April 13th at Wembley Stadium,” he said.
“So basically, he can tell me next year, but he can’t tell me a date for this year.”