Deontay Wilder and his team have been given a “much-improved” offer to face Anthony Joshua, but are still refusing to have a meeting, Eddie Hearn has revealed.
The Matchroom promoter and his father Barry have been trying to negotiate a unification showdown between Wilder and Joshua that would take place at Wembley Stadium on April 13.
Hearn Snr has already been denied a meeting and even though Eddie Hearn sent his second offer – involving more money and an updated percentage split – to Wilder’s team, he admits he has been left frustrated and suggested “something doesn’t smell right”.
He told Sky Sports: “It’s frustrating. We keep requesting these meetings and they don’t want them to take place, which is a bit strange when you’re talking about the biggest fight in world boxing – you can’t negotiate fights like this over the internet or over a telephone.
“So we wrote to them after our fight with (Alexander) Povetkin and said we need to make our move soon because of mandatories in place for April 13, so could we have a meeting?
“They got back and said no, we’re not interested in meeting you, make us an offer and we’ll let you know.
“We went back and made a much-improved offer from the first one – this one with a percentage split – a very attractive offer and then requested a meeting, but they turned round and said ‘no, we won’t meet you’.
“There’s not much we can do. It’s frustrating because we know the public wants to see that fight and are putting pressure on us and Anthony Joshua, but we are continuously making offers, we keep requesting meetings and keep getting turned down.
“We will probably have to move forward with a fight before December 1, but we hoped that at least we could have a meeting so we can go face to face to discuss it.
“The previous offer was accepted and we sent a contract but they didn’t respond, so this offer is much better than the previous offer.
“This is an improvement on the previous offer that was accepted. But obviously, if he won his fight with (Tyson) Fury, it would increase his value in the fight and we’ve taken that into consideration.
“It’s only binding if he beats Fury so we have taken that into consideration and offered him more money. I am not expecting them to sign the deal within a week or two weeks, but we have to have a meeting.”
Wilder will defend his WBC title against Fury in Los Angeles on December 1, and Hearn has pencilled in that date as decisive on the chances of the American agreeing to meet Joshua in April.
The promoter though, who is out in Chicago for the first Matchroom USA show, is not using it as a deadline, but again urged Wilder’s co-manager Shelly Finkel to at least meetup and discuss the improved offer face to face.
Hearn said: “I understand Deontay Wilder has a fight with Tyson Fury to focus on but the job of an adviser or as a manager is to plan the future and if there is the opportunity to have an undisputed heavyweight world champions’ fight, they have the responsibility to explore that.
“But they are not even willing to explore that and something doesn’t smell right. But we’ve got to go about our own business. Can we wait until after December 1? Well there’s mandatory situations as well, so it’s just frustrating we can’t even have a meeting to discuss it.
“Shelly replied last night and just said we don’t want to have a meeting with you to discuss the fight, which is strange and frustrating, but we just have to carry on with our business and see what the next steps are.”