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Deontay Wilder manager ADMITS they ignored offer to fight Anthony Joshua

‘It’s absolutely true’: Deontay Wilder’s promoter Shelly Finkel admits he shunned ‘huge’ offer from Eddie Hearn to fight Anthony Joshua because of his fight with Robert Helenius… with Brit now in talks to meet Tyson Fury instead

  • Shelly Finkel admits she avoided Eddie Hearn’s ‘big’ Anthony Joshua fight offer
  • But Deontay Wilder was more focused on preparing for the Robert Helenius fight
  • Finkel dismissed the idea that he disliked Hearn, explaining that he just disagrees with him
  • He also revealed that he received a message that Oleksandr Usyk was facing Wilder
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Shelly Finkel, manager of Deontay Wilder, has responded to Eddie Hearn’s claims that he ignored the offer of a fight against Anthony Joshua.

Finkel admitted he ignored Hearn’s approach to organizing a verbal clash between Wilder and Joshua, choosing instead to focus on the American’s upcoming fight with Finland’s Robert Helenius.

Hearn had revealed to SecondsOut that he approached Wilder’s team to put together a fight deal, but after receiving no word, assumed Wilder wasn’t interested.

Shelly Finkel (left) admitted to shunning an Anthony Joshua fight offer from Eddie Hearn
Shelly Finkel (left) admitted to shunning an Anthony Joshua fight offer from Eddie Hearn

Shelly Finkel (left) admitted to shunning an Anthony Joshua fight offer from Eddie Hearn

Deontay Wilder has not fought since his second straight loss to Tyson Fury in 2021
Deontay Wilder has not fought since his second straight loss to Tyson Fury in 2021

Deontay Wilder has not fought since his second straight loss to Tyson Fury in 2021

Finkel told talkSPORT: ‘It’s come out a few times from Eddie Hearn that I avoided him. It is partially true, yes it is completely true. We have a match coming up with Robert Helenius. Eddie emailed me: “Can we talk? I have some big ones [offer] for Deontay.”

‘Right now we have the Helenius match, that’s all we have to concentrate on. Because if something went wrong there, nothing else would. And if it goes right, everything will be solved. And I felt like if I called Eddie, the next thing you’d call me would be, “Oh, did you and Eddie talk?” So I said to Deontay and Al Haymon, “What do you think?” And they said, “Let’s just get this fight out of the way.”

‘And enough, [Hearn says], “Shelly didn’t even talk to me.” I think he also has the feeling that I don’t like Eddie. No. I don’t always agree with him, we’re on opposite sides, he’s got a fighter that will hopefully be an opponent for one of my guys, in this case Deontay, and it’s nothing like that.

Hearn had approached Finkel to set up a fight between Joshua and Deontay Wilder
Hearn had approached Finkel to set up a fight between Joshua and Deontay Wilder

Hearn had approached Finkel to set up a fight between Joshua and Deontay Wilder

Wilder and his people are focusing on an upcoming fight in October against Robert Helenius
Wilder and his people are focusing on an upcoming fight in October against Robert Helenius

Wilder and his people are focusing on an upcoming fight in October against Robert Helenius

‘Barry Hearn and I, we go back 30/40 years and it’s always been very cordial. And the Eddie thing, look, he hasn’t been around as long as he thinks he has, but he’s done some really exciting good things, so I give him credit for that.

‘And when it comes time to make a deal, it gets done, or not. It was done with Wladimir Klitschko and now he looks set to fight Tyson Fury, I wish him the best of luck.”

With Wilder set to fight Helenius on October 3, and with Tyson Fury set to face Joshua in one of the most anticipated fights in the history of the division, Oleksandr Usyk is keen to arrange a meeting with Wilder.

Tyson Fury's promoter Frank Warren claims he sent contracts to Anthony Joshua's team
Tyson Fury's promoter Frank Warren claims he sent contracts to Anthony Joshua's team

Tyson Fury’s promoter Frank Warren revealed that contracts had been sent to Joshua’s people

Anthony Joshua (right) appears to have accepted a surprise title fight from his British compatriot
Anthony Joshua (right) appears to have accepted a surprise title fight from his British compatriot

Anthony Joshua (right) appears to have accepted a surprise title fight from his British compatriot

The Ukrainian is the current world heavyweight champion and undefeated in his career
The Ukrainian is the current world heavyweight champion and undefeated in his career

The Ukrainian is the current world heavyweight champion and undefeated in his career

The Ukrainian holds the WBO, WBA and IBF belts and looked close to a clash with Fury before the Gypsy King appeared to shift focus to an all-British showdown with Joshua.

And Usyk has also turned his sights elsewhere, identifying Wilder as his next potential opponent and declaring he wants to be ringside for his clash with the Finnish fighter next month.

Finkel added: ‘The other day we got word that Usyk will fight us if Joshua goes the Fury route, yes we’re open to that, we’re not against that at all.

‘And if not, then there is Andy Ruiz Jr., there are several other options.

‘In my mind, until Fury [vs Joshua] things came, I thought that after the fight with Helenius we would talk, Eddie and I, but things happen.’

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