Efforts to stage a heavyweight title unification bout between unbeaten boxers Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder is "concentrated on staging the bout in the U.S.," according to Lance Pugmire of the L.A. TIMES. Joshua's promoter, Matchroom Boxing's Eddie Hearn, said last week that he believes the "rightful site for the bout would be the home of the three-belt champion in England," but the "active negotiation is connected" to the guaranteed $50M offer to Joshua made by Wilder's managers, Al Haymon and Shelly Finkel. A source said that offer "presumes the fight is in the U.S. on pay-per-view during U.S. prime time" as having the fight in the U.K. "would mean no $50 million guarantee." The U.S. venue is "part of the active Joshua-Wilder conversation." The source said Barclays Center and T-Mobile Arena are considered the "leading contenders." Pugmire notes Joshua possesses "some leverage since his U.S. television rights with Showtime, which has broadcast his past six bouts, expired following" the Joseph Parker bout March 31. However, HBO is also "positioned to make a run at Joshua," and Hearn's Matchroom Boxing announced a $1B streaming deal with Perform Group's DAZN live last week that "will begin in September and 'could' include some Joshua bouts." Joshua-Wilder talks are "centered on a bout occurring between October and December, and one of the ongoing topics of uncertainty is how well the fight will do financially in the U.S. since there hasn't been this significant of a heavyweight-title bout here since Lennox Lewis' 2002 knockout of Mike Tyson" (L.A. TIMES, 5/17).
HERE WE GO AGAIN: Golden Boy Promotions CEO Oscar De La Hoya believes that Canelo Alvarez' rematch with Gennady Golovkin is "close to being finalized and will be driven by increasing animosity between the two fighters." De La Hoya insists that a new deal for the fight is "'75% certain' to be reached in time for it to be scheduled" for Sept. 15. Alvarez' stature in the U.S. has "undoubtedly taken a hit with Golovokin publicly calling Alvarez a cheat," but De La Hoya "isn't worried." Alvarez remains "one of the biggest names in boxing and is guaranteed to generate lucrative pay-per-view numbers" (AFP, 5/16).