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Boxing

Deontay Wilder’s co-manager was ‘shocked’ no step aside offer was ever made to allow Tyson Fury to fight Anthony Joshua

DEONTAY WILDER not being offered step aside money to allow Tyson Fury to fight Anthony Joshua ‘shocked’ the American’s co-manager.

Wilder was beaten by Fury in February 2020, two years after they drew, but the rematch included a contracted trilogy bout.

Shelly Finkel with Deontay Wilder in 2018
Anthony Joshua with his unified titles

But as the coronavirus pandemic postponed the fight, the Gypsy King tried to walk away from the obligation, believing the stipulation expired.

He then agreed terms to fight AJ in Saudi Arabia in August, all while Wilder took his right to an immediate rematch to arbitration.

And after he won at the 11th hour, Fury’s historic undisputed title decider was scrapped as he was ordered to instead fight his US heavyweight rival.

Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn hit out at the WBC champion’s camp for not trying to find a financial settlement which would keep Wilder sidelined.

And even his co-manager Shelly Finkel was surprised there was no effort made to preserve Fury’s unification with AJ.

Finkel told SunSport: “We were shocked and our lawyers said they were shocked from their side that they made no effort before we won the case.

“They first tried to vacate the lawsuit and they lost.

“But there was nothing from their side, which I thought was short sighted. But that’s their choice.”

Fury, 32, has since revealed he opted to fight Wilder, 35, as he refused to give the ex-heavyweight champ a penny.

He told The Athletic in May: “The guy is a sucker I wouldn’t give him £20,000 I pay in ass whoopings that’s what I’ll give him.

“I’m not interested in giving anyone any money, they’ve got to earn it like I did the hard way by fighting the best of the best.

“Until then they are getting ass whoopings from me. No step-aside money.

“I wouldn’t give him one million dollars to step-aside, I wouldn’t give him a hundred grand, I’d rather give him these big fists in the face.”

Finkel, speaking before the trilogy was postponed, admits being given the fight is a better result than receiving a payout – as it gives them the chance to take back control.

He said: “We were fine with it, then, when it got closer and we won the summary judgement, we didn’t care, we wanted the fight.

‘IN DEONTAY’S HANDS’

“Here’s the thing that people miss; people say to us, ‘Why wouldn’t you take a step aside?’

“Because, if we had and Fury lost, we may never have got a title shot and the leverage that Eddie Hearn and Joshua would have had at that point, we wouldn’t have had a fair shot.

“Now, it’s up to us, it’s in Deontay’s hands that night and if he prevails, which I think he will, then it’s a whole different ball game.

“Deontay’s back as champion, and we’ll see what happens.”

Fury pulled out of their scheduled rematch on July 24 with coronavirus leaving the trilogy postponed to October 9.

But beforehand, he claimed Wilder wanted $20MILLION to let him fight Joshua, 31, for all the heavyweight marbles.

Finkel, though, suggests otherwise and maintained they made no demands to step aside – as no concrete offer was made in the first place.

He explained: “He’s not telling the truth at all.

WILDER VS JOSHUA?

“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.”

Wilder’s legal win leaves Joshua instead facing mandatory challenger Oleksandr Usyk, 34, on September 25 at Tottenham’s stadium.

But should AJ prevail, as well as Wilder, Finkel is hopeful it could finally see the pair fight after years of prior failed talks.

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He said: “First things first, we have to only think about this fight. 

“But if Joshua is successful, I believe he probably will be. Although it’s a fight with Usyk I just think Joshua’s size will be the difference. 

“Putting that aside at this point, where is Joshua going to go for a big fight if we’re the champion and he wants to unify it? 

“So, logically it would be, but logic doesn’t work in this sport.”

Tyson Fury will fight Deontay Wilder in a trilogy bout on October 9

Anthony Joshua fights Oleksandr Usyk on September 25

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