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30 Jun 2018

Anthony Joshua is set to defend his IBF, WBO, IBO and WBA belts against Povetkin as Deontay Wilder claiming 50-50 split

A future money-spinning showdown between Deontay Wilder and Anthony Joshua is in serious doubt after the American declared he would now accept only a 50-50 split to fight for the undisputed heavyweight title.

After months of negotiations between the two camps a lucrative clash for all the major world belts collapsed earlier this week.

Joshua is now set to face mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin in September after promoter Eddie Hearn failed to strike a deal with representatives of the Alabama banger.

Joshua's team feel their man, who holds three of the four belts, has earned the right to the lion's share of the money as well as the final say on where the fight takes place.

Wilder, who had previously offer AJ a world record $50million (£38m) purse, reluctantly ceded ground and accepted a £11.4m deal. But with Joshua now set to face Povetkin instead, the American has wiped the slate clean – claiming he will only face his rival on one condition: financial parity.

'The $50m is off the table. That flat fee I was going to take … all that is off the table,' he told Boxing News.

'If they ever come back to us, it's going to be 50-50 straight down the line. I'm just glad the blindfolds are off the people's eyes. Even casual fans can see what happened.'

He added: 'I'm not going anywhere in this heavyweight division. I'm going to be around for a very long time, until I decide to retire. I told Joshua you're going to regret not taking this money. I think he knows that. Just wait and see what I have in store. They're going to come crawling back to us. Mark my words.'

Wilder's co-manager Shelly Finkel revealed this week that Hearn had offered their man the fight at Wembley Stadium in April 2019 – before which both champions will make at least one more title defence.

With AJ likely to fight Povetkin, Wilder looks set to take on his compatriot and WBC mandatory challenger Dominic Breazeale in the autumn.

But the American claims had he and Joshua had their way they would be fighting this year not next. Instead, he says, AJ was held back by his team.

'Joshua and I had conversations on the side,' he revealed. 'He asked me to have my team email him certain things about the money. I said, "Sure, no problem". When we gave him the offer, he was super excited. He even took everyone on his team out to eat.

'We thought Joshua was more in control than he was. But we found out that he wasn't. It's sad to see him allow these people to do what they're doing. He can't do nothing that he wants to do. As you can see, they stopped him from doing any interviews about me because he would say one thing and they would say another.

'Joshua really wanted the fight for the $50 million. Next thing we know, they're talking about fighting in his country—for less money.'

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