Just this week, the chatter started doing the rounds regarding the exceptionally silver-tongued managing director of Matchroom Sport, Mr Eddie ‘if it makes pounds it makes sense’ Hearn.
Hearn apparently wants an 80% cut for his golden goose – the WBA, IBF, IBO and WBO heavyweight champion of the world, Anthony Joshua, while only offering a mere 20% slither of the hinted $40-100 million, meaty unification-pie to the WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder for a potential unification clash this year.
The initial 80-20 purse cut has been regarded by some sports pundits as ridiculous, or insane offer and simply just scraps being tossed to Wilder – which I feel is somewhat of an exaggeration, as the 20% would still estimate in the region around $10-12 million payday for the Bronze Bomber!
Hardly scraps now, is it?
I’m not saying I agree or disagree with the original figure presented by Hearn – however I can appreciate and understand the reasoning behind the seemingly imbalanced see-saw of financial spoils.
But as the week’s progressed, Wilder’s camp were undoubtedly displeased with the slender percentage offer and have countered with a 60-40 proposition which would still generously grease the wheels of AJ and Matchroom Sport!
The bout between the two heavyweight giants, for what it’s worth, is expected to be an enriching and explosive blend of thrilling and dazzling pugilism, brutal-brawling, hefty hooks and pummelling punches from arguably the division’s two hardest-hitting fighters. A spectacular night of boxing should be on the cards!
But as enticingly tasty and mouth-watering the idea of the fight may be; essentially the money side of things are obviously not ‘making sense’ for both camps. And at the moment, I just wonder if AJ’s involved with another fight – a Joshua vs Hearn head-to-head over the purse split. While it seems that Joshua is keen to get the unification battle on the calendar; Hearn is more interested in who gets most of the pie!
And here are some thoughts as to why ‘Steady’ Eddie Hearn has started the ball rolling with such a seemingly-scrawny and un-calibrated deal.
1). Eddie Hearn is a business man – a man who specialises in knowing how to make lucrative and colossal deals that generate bundling stockpiles of money for himself, his business, his fighters and all the relevant people and organisations he might have a stake in. Any deals made would automatically financially tilt towards him and his prize fighter, as Joshua is currently more popular, respectable and marketable than any other boxer in the world.
2). The brilliantly-talented and highly-skilled Anthony Joshua, as mentioned is the proud holder of the WBA, IBF, IBO and WBO titles – four of the five gloriously-gleaming-golden belts that will be presented to the winner of a potential bout between himself and Wilder.
3). Deontay, ‘the Bronze Bomber’ Wilder is also the proud holder of another prestigious title – the WBC – probably the most sought-after belt in the division and the one remaining piece of hardware Joshua needs to become lineal champion.
The reality is that AJ has four out of the five titles on the line while Wilder has only one; with the winner ultimately unifying the division, taking all five belts and victoriously strolling into the history books.
Now bearing that in mind, an 80-20 payday in Joshua’s favour doesn’t seem all that unreasonable considering it would simply match the distribution of the belts in the heavyweight division.
So what next? Well, we know Hearn is tough negotiator and more than likely won’t budge more than 75-25, again in Joshua’s favour. However, with the Watford-native actually stating himself that he’d agree to 50-50 cut, that may change things.
Personally, I think if both camps are confident they’re going to win and unify, then they should resolve the dispute over the purse split, and get the fight pencilled in as soon as possible, with a contract that states that the winner gets 60%, while the loser gets a 40% cut.
After all, and I know I’m being naïve by saying this, but is it not deemed enough of an honour and privilege to participate in what will be one of the most memorable, pivotal and momentous occasions the boxing world has ever witnessed? With both athletes in their complete primes, exhibiting their skills, ability, technique and power in an event that will crown one man undisputed heavyweight champion of the world?
Isn’t that worth much more than any payday?
At this stage, I suppose it is not.