WBC Heavyweight Champion Deontay Wilder confirmed Tuesday that he will fight his mandatory challenger, Dominic Brezeale, on Saturday night May 18th at Brooklyn, NY’s Barclays Center.
However, the bigger news was with what promotion Wilder will be fighting now and for the future? Wilder told the media in NY and watching live online that he will remain with Premier Boxing Champions fighting on Showtime, not pay-per-view, at least for one more fight.
Wilder said Tuesday, “The next man in line. I can’t wait.This is the only sport where payback is a mother—,and the pain is the name of the game in this sport and we all know who does this the best and it’s me. I bring the excitement in the heavyweight division. I hold all the keys. People want to see the big fight and I don’t have to say what the big fight is. Everybody want to see it and I understand that. But there are certain things that have to be done, this is a mandatory. He got the opportunity and here it is.”
When asked why Showtime over the other options? Wilder added:
“I consider these guys family. I’ve came a long way. I helped them with my knockouts. I feel like this fight wasn’t a pay-per-view fight. I feel that this fight isn’t that situation. I want to be fair to the people.
Stephen Espinoza, President of Showtime Sports, said about the deal,
“We are proud to have him back on Showtime…not on a streaming platform or on pay-per-view.” he added “One thing he values is independence. He is an entrepreneur like all the greats have in themselves. Showtime would never expect loyalty at the expense of long-term financial success. This is a premium fight, a high quality fight and it is for the world heavyweight championship.”
ESPN’s Dan Rafael had reported Tuesday that he learned that Wilder had already turned down last week a $100+ million multi-fight deal to sign with DAZN streaming service. And, that included a guaranteed showdown with the man that holds the other three Heavyweight Titles, Anthony Johsua of England, later this year as part of it:
Heavyweight titlist @BronzeBomber will announce his mandatory vs. @TroubleBoxing Tuesday. That's no surprise, but the broadcast platform remains unclear even as Wilder turns down nine-figure @DAZN_USA offer. Details in my story: https://t.co/cy57x243UX #boxing
— Dan Rafael (@danrafaelespn) March 19, 2019
From Rafael’s story, he says that Matchroom Boxing and promoter Eddie Hearn, were even willing to have the Wilder-Joshua fight in the U.S. this fall or winter.
One deal, the sources said, was for three fights worth $100 million. The first fight would have been a $20 million payday to fight Breazeale this spring, which is way over the market value for that level fight. Wilder was guaranteed $10 million to fight Fury in their exciting draw on Showtime PPV on Dec. 1. The second fight would have been for $40 million to fight Joshua in the fall for the undisputed title with the third fight being an immediate rematch with Joshua for another $40 million — even if Wilder, in the worst-case scenario, had gotten knocked out, even in the first round, of the first fight by Joshua (22-0, 21 KOs), 29, of England.
All of this comes on the heels of Wilder also rebuffing Bob Arum’s Top Rank promotion and their deal with ESPN and ESPN+ streaming service. Arum signed British Heavyweight Tyson Fury, who Wilder narrowly retained his title agains in December via a draw, to lucrative multi-fight deal himself. That kept Wilder and Fury from having an immediate rematch in either May or June that they had been discussing, previously.
And, it likely means that Wilder-Fury II won’t be happening in 2019, either.
The Tuesday announcement by the unbeaten WBC Champ means his 5th heavyweight title fight will be seen on Showtime over the air and not pay-per-view.
There was no further discussion about what happens with Wilder and future fights with Showtime after May 18th.