The boxing community was in an outrage yesterday when it was determined that a heavyweight showdown between Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder was officially dead for 2018. Months of negotiations came to a stand still this past week only for Eddie Hearn to eventually tell the world that Joshua would be facing Alexander Povetkin next. Shelly Finkel, Wilder's manager, stated that he would need until Friday to send over a contract that he had sit on for over a week. Hearn decided on Monday that he couldn't wait four days because "suddenly" the WBA needed an immediate answer in regards to Joshua facing his mandatory Povetkin.
The strange turn of events was never surprising. While Joshua and Wilder would absolutely step into the ring with each other next, both of their managers have other plans. These are the guys that make the money, stage the event, and do one major thing to make the most money possible....promote. For the past three months that's what you have seen. Big time promoting. Neither Hearn nor Finkel really wanted their guy's to get into the ring with each other yet. They pretended, made ridiculous offers, countered by more ridiculous offers, and eventually made the decision to wait until 2019. Both guys can fight twice before then, and set up a showdown at Wembley that will be bigger in 2019 than it will right now.
As usual, it's the fans that lose out to the "marinating effect" that has taken over the industry. The fight will make more money in the future so why not wait? Boxing fans are used to this concept so it should come as no surprise. The fight will happen. It's just not going to happen soon.