Deontay Wilder 'in talks' with DAZN to set up Anthony Joshua fight
WBC heavyweight champ Deontay Wilder is in talks regarding a potential media rights deal with DAZN, according to multiple reports, which could lead to a unification fight with Anthony Joshua, finally.
News broke on March 13, exactly one month on from Frank Warren and Lineal Heavyweight Champion Tyson Fury's multi-year, multi-fight agreement with ESPN, BT Sport, and Bob Arum’s Top Rank Boxing.
Reports say that the WBC heavyweight champion will meet with DAZN executive chairman John Skipper this week after a recent phone call, with Wilder’s promoter Lou DiBella apparently arranging the discussions.
Wilder has reportedly informed his advisors, Al Haymon and Shelly Finkel, about the opportunity to meet with Skipper, with DAZN partner and Matchroom's Eddie Hearn to be kept away from the talks to ease their passage.
According to reports, Skipper will lay out a multi-fight offer to Wilder that would pay him at least US$20 million per fight on DAZN, with the second bout of the deal seeing Wilder face Anthony Joshua for the undisputed heavyweight championship.
Digital media outlet Boxingscene claims that Wilder will be offered a two-fight deal worth US$50 million in total and that he is also considering an offer to fight on ESPN.
Skipper, talking at the press conference to announce Gennady Golovkin’s new deal with DAZN, said of the Wilder links: “I will not characterise them all, or even confirm them. We have discussions with people and until we announce I rarely comment on them until we announce.
“I don’t have anything to announce, so no comment, other than we’re interested in having the best fights on DAZN and we will put the fights on that people want to see. It’s pretty clear that one fight people want to see is Joshua and Wilder.”
Wilder has historically fought on Haymon’s PBC but announced last month he is now a “free agent” in media terms. The 33-year-old 'Bronze Bomber' is reportedly scheduled to fight Dominic Breazeale in a Showtime pay-per-view on 18th May in New York after Wilder saw his rematch with Tyson Fury fall apart when the Englishman signed a multi-fight deal with Top Rank to compete on ESPN and the ESPN+ OTT service.
Top Rank reportedly recently offered Wilder a two-fight deal that brought in US$12.5 million for the first bout, forcing PBC to push its proposed bout with Breazeale to PPV in order to make its own deal more financially rewarding.
Hearn also apparently offered Wilder a multi-fight deal - ignored by the boxer’s team - that guaranteed US$30 million for a title tilt with Joshua.
Boxingscene also reports that undefeated Polish heavyweight contender Adam Kownacki is considering offers from DAZN and ESPN.
In other DAZN news, Kazakhstani boxing star Gennady Golovkin will net an eight-figure sum per fight to see out career on sports streaming subscription service DAZN for the rest of his career.
The six-bout global partnership, which was agreed between DAZN and GGG Promotions, will see the former unified middleweight world champion fight twice a year on the over-the-top (OTT) platform for the next three years. The contract also calls for GGG Promotions to present two cards per year on DAZN from 2020.
The financial terms of the tie-up were not made official, but Ring Magazine’s Mike Coppinger tweeted that DAZN will pay Golovkin an eight-figure sum for each fight, with previous reports suggesting the boxer could receive an equity stake in the streaming platform’s business.
The deal means Golovkin’s fights will no longer appear on pay-per-view, with his bouts now available to all DAZN subscribers at no extra cost.
Confirmation of the long-rumoured tie-up paves the way for a third fight between Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez, who signed a US$365 million contract with DAZN in October.
Golovkin is set to return to the ring in June, with his opponent to be announced at a later date. It will be the first time the 36-year-old has fought since Alvarez inflicted the first loss of his career in September.
“DAZN has quickly become the new home of boxing by making the biggest events easily available to the fans,” said Golovkin. “When deciding on where I wanted to continue my career, DAZN’s global vision perfectly matched my goals – not just for my career but the opportunity to showcase talented Eastern European fighters to the world.”
Golovkin’s bouts will be available in all DAZN markets, in addition to his native Kazakhstan. The service is currently available in nine countries – Austria, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland and the US – and plans to reach 20 markets by 2020.
“Gennady Golovkin is a generational talent with international appeal,” added DAZN Group executive chairman John Skipper. “We’re confident he will bring his passionate fans to the platform as we produce tentpole events with his team over the next several years.”