By Victor Okoye
Deontay Wilder, World Boxing Council (WBC) Heavy Weight Champion on Thursday offered Nigerian-born British World Heavyweight Boxing Champion Anthony Joshua a whopping 50 million dollars (about N18 billion) for a unification fight.
The hugely anticipated fight would determine who becomes the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world.
The proposed bout is expected to hold between September and December at a venue of Wilder’s choice.
Joshua, 28, is the new International Boxing Federation (IBF), World Boxing Association (WBA), International Boxing Organisation (IBO) and World Boxing Organisation (WBO) title holder.
He recently defeated Joseph Parker by unanimous decision to remain unbeaten in 21 bouts and add the IBF title to his illustrious boxing career.
Wilder, 32 who defeated Luis Ortiz in his last bout in March revealed in a video posted on Twitter that he expects Joshua to be a man of his words by accepting the offer.
“All the money is in the bag so I expect you will be a man of your word,” Wilder said in a video he posted on his Twitter handle in response to Joshua claiming he would accept a bout with the American for 50 million dollars.
“Tell Eddie Hearn to let you personally check his email this time. By the way, I sent your manager Rob McCracken the email as well.
“I’m looking forward to our meeting in the ring,” Wilder twitted.
Meanwhile, Wilder’s manager Shelly Finkel also confirmed to ESPN that an offer had been made to Joshua.
Finkel added that the offer includes no rematch clause and that it would be the next fight for each boxer, taking place between September and December at a venue of Wilder’s choice.
However, Joshua is unconvinced that Wilder’s team have the 50 million dollars that they are offering for a title unification bout, the British boxer’s promoter Eddie Hearn has said.
America’s WBC heavyweight world champion Wilder challenged WBA Super, IBF, IBO and WBO champion, Joshua, to the fight with both boxers guaranteed a 50-50 money split.
Hearn said his team needs to be convinced the money exists.
“It’s not a case of we sign the contract and they go and raise the money.
“If you’ve got it, show it to us and then we can talk,’’ Hearn, who is in New York for a Matchroom Boxing USA card and will meet Wilder’s representatives on Friday,’’ said.
Finkel had earlier given Joshua until midnight on Thursday to respond to the offer.
“I spoke to AJ, he knows the situation but we want to know if it’s real,” Hearn added.
“We want to see the money and know where it is. There is a real strong chance this fight could happen – we’re not looking to be difficult.’’
However, Finkel said the money was in place. “If he accepts it, it will be there. Al Haymon and I have never not delivered what we’ve offered,’’ he said.
Joshua last month moved a step closer to becoming the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world after beating New Zealand’s Joseph Parker in their title unification bout to improve his record to 21-0.
The 2012 Olympic champion added Parker’s WBO belt to his own collection.