Deontay Wilder’s co-manager Shelly Finkel is still surprised that Tyson Fury’s team didn’t make a serious attempt to negotiate a step aside for ‘The Bronze Bomber’ so that Tyson could face Anthony Joshua on August 14th.
The absence of a step aside deal being given to Wilder has many boxing fans believing that Fury didn’t fancy the idea of fighting Joshua.
Even with Fury getting a massive payday against Joshua, it strikes one as odd that he didn’t give Wilder a step aside so that the fight could take place with AJ.
The question is, was Fury not willing to fight Joshua, or does he believe that beating Wilder again will be a piece of cake. You can excuse Fury for not paying Wilder a step aside if he believes that it’s a fight he can win 100% of the time.
Fury had beaten Deontay last year by a seventh round knockout. However, there was a rematch clause in that contract for a third fight that Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs) executed.
Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic got in the way of scheduling the trilogy match between Deontay and Fury, and rather than get the fight over with, ‘The Gypsy King’ attempted to bypass the fight and go straight into a match with Anthony Joshua.
Fury’s management assumed that the rematch clause had expired and they would be free to take into a lucrative fight with Joshua.
When Wilder realized that Fury wasn’t going to honor his contractual rematch, he took it to an arbitrator, who not surprisingly ruled in his favor. Fury was then ordered to defend his WBC title against Wilder, and here we are now.
Instead of Fury fighting Joshua, he’s stuck facing Deontay on October 9th, and he may never get the AJ match if he loses.
Not surprisingly, Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn was upset, unhappy that a step aside deal wasn’t put together for Fury to pay Wilder to let the Joshua-Fury fight occur. Hearn had done all this work to secure a huge site deal for Joshua and Fury for August 14th in Saudi Arabia, and all of it was for nothing.
“We were shocked, and our lawyers said they were shocked from their side that they made no effort before we won the case,” said Wilder’s manager Shelly Finkel to The Sun about Fury’s team not trying to negotiate a step aside deal.
“They [Team Fury] first tried to vacate the lawsuit [with Wilder], and they lost,” Finkel said about Wilder winning the arbitration case to force a rematch with Fury.
“But there was nothing from their side, which I thought was short-sighted. But that’s their choice. There was never a discussion. Frank [Warren], at one point, said to me, ‘Would you guys take a seven-figure walk away?’ And I said, ‘No.’ And that was it. That was the only discussion and effort,” said Finkel in talking about the lack of effort from Fury’s team to negotiate a step aside deal for Wilder.
The kind of money that Fury would have gotten in the Joshua fight, it sounds like a bad move on his part not to have paid Wilder a step aside.
Even if Fury thinks it’s a forgone conclusion that he’ll defeat Wilder a second time, there are no guarantees that the same financial deal will be put together for a fight against Joshua.
Hearn had done an excellent job negotiating a huge $200 million site deal in Saudi Arabia that would have paid Fury and Joshua approximately $100 million.
Now that the Saudis saw what a fiasco Fury made of the August 14th fight, they might have washed their hands of him and Joshua and won’t be interested in offering another big site deal. That’s why it would have been better for Fury to have offered Wilder a big step aside.