Shelly Finkel Believes That Team Wilder Benefited From Bob Arum and Eddie Hearn Playing Their Cards Wrong
There is one big winner in the fallout of the failed negotiations for the world heavyweight unification bout between IBF/WBA ‘Super’/WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua (24-1, 22 KOs) and WBC World titleholder Tyson Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs). That would be former WBC champion Deontay Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs). On May 17, arbitrator Daniel Weinstein ruled Fury’s next fight must be against Wilder. The decision put a screeching halt to the negotiations for Joshua v Fury.
Joshua’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, along with Fury’s co-promoter, Bob Arum, was hard at work behind the scenes working on a deal. Negotiations were all but final. Fury and Hearn said the fight was a go for August 14 in Saudi Arabia. That fight is a wash for the time being. Fury will now fight Wilder for a third time on July 24 in Las Vegas.
BREAKING THEIR SILENCE
You have not heard a peep from Team Wilder since the ruling. The only thing you have seen from Deontay Wilder are videos of him training under the guidance of his new trainer, Malik Scott.
His manager, Shelly Finkel, broke their silence during a May 28 interview with Sky Sports. In reaction to the arbitrator’s ruling, Finkel could not be happier about the decision.
“Just thrilled, it was just phenomenal. It was a great, great feeling. There’s a parable about the dog with the bone. The big bone was Saudi Arabia, and you end up with nothing.”
PLAY IT CLOSE TO THE VEST
While Arum and Hearn were publicly talking about Joshua and Fury, Finkel remained quiet. In his view, it was foolish on their part as long as the arbitrator was pending.
“You have to have your own self logic. You’ve got to say, ‘Look, even if it’s a one percent chance I’m going to lose, it’s a one percent chance.’
They deluded themselves and I just continued to press forward. You didn’t hear us in the papers, you didn’t hear us saying anything.
Avoided all press. I just don’t get that kind of sureness that nothing could happen.”
Asked if Wilder was willing to take a step-aside offer, Finkel said they were not looking for step-aside money and that the other side never made one.
In the end, Finkel and Wilder’s strategy paid off. They got what they wanted all along. Now the goal is for Deontay Wilder to reclaim the WBC title and blow up any plans for a Joshua v Fury match.
By: Michael Wilson Jr.