‘It’s wholly true’: Deontay Wilder’s promoter Shelly Finkel admits he avoided a ‘big’ offer from Eddie Hearn for a showdown with Anthony Joshua because of his fight with Robert Helenius… with Brit now in talks to face Tyson Fury instead
- Shelly Finkel admits to avoiding Eddie Hearn’s ‘big’ Anthony Joshua fight offer
- But Deontay Wilder was more focused on preparing for Robert Helenius fight
- Finkel refuted the idea he disliked Hearn, explaining he just disagrees with him
- He also revealed he received a message about Oleksandr Usyk facing Wilder
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 that he ignored Hearn’s approach to organise a mouth-watering clash between Wilder and Joshua, instead choosing 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 agreement, but after receiving no word surmised that Wilder was not interested.
Shelly Finkel (left) admitted to avoiding an offer of an Anthony Joshua fight from Eddie Hearn
Deontay Wilder has not fought since he lost for the second time in a row to Tyson Fury in 2021
Finkel told talkSPORT: ‘It’s come out a few times by Eddie Hearn that I avoided him. That’s partially true, well it’s wholly true. We have a fight coming up with Robert Helenius. Eddie emailed me, “Can we talk? I have some big [offer] for Deontay.”
‘Right now we have the Helenius fight, that’s all we need to concentrate on. Because if something went wrong there, nothing else would be. And if it goes right, it’ll all get worked out. And I felt if I got on a call with Eddie, the next thing you would be on the call to me, “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 sure enough, [Hearn says], “Shelly didn’t even talk to me.” I think he also has this feeling that I dislike Eddie. No. I don’t always agree with him, we’re on opposite sides, he has a fighter who will hopefully be an opponent for one of my guys, in this case Deontay, and it’s nothing of the sort.
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
‘Barry Hearn and I, we go back 30/40 years and it’s always been very cordial. And the Eddie thing, look, he’s been around not 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’ll get done, or not. It got done with Wladimir Klitschko and now he seems to be on a path to fight Tyson Fury, I wish him well.”
With Wilder due to fight Helenius on October 3, and with Tyson Fury slated to face Joshua in one of the most highly-anticipated bouts in the history of the division, Oleksandr Usyk is keen on setting up a meeting with Wilder.
Tyson Fury’s promoter Frank Warren revealed contracts had been sent to Joshua’s people
Anthony Joshua (right) appears to have accepted a surprise title bout by his British compatriot
The Ukrainian is the current heavyweight world champion and undefeated in his career
The Ukrainian holds three belts and seemed close to a clash with Fury, before the Gypsy King seemed to switch his focus to an all British showdown with Joshua.
And Usyk has also turned his gaze elsewhere, identifying Wilder as his next potential opponent, declaring that he wants to be ringside for his clash with the Finnish fighter next month.
Finkel added: ‘The other day we got a message that Usyk will fight us if Joshua goes the route of Fury, yeah, we’re open to that, we’re not opposed to that at all.
‘And if not, there’s Andy Ruiz Jr, there’s several other options.
‘In my mind, until the Fury [vs Joshua] thing came, I was thinking that after the fight with Helenius we would be talking, Eddie and I, but things happen.’