Deontay Wilder chooses to fight Dominic Breazeale on Showtime, rejects DAZN
Deontay Wilder announced details on Tuesday of his next fight, saying he will be facing WBC mandatory challenger Dominic Breazeale at Barclays Center in Brooklyn on May 18. The big revelation to come from his press conference on Tuesday was that the fight will be on Showtime and not on pay-per-view, which is a nice bonus for the fans.
Being able to watch Wilder’s fight without paying more than the price of a Showtime subscription is a plus for the fans. However, the deal is somewhat disappointing in general.
Wilder was in talks to face Tyson Fury in a rematch, but that fell through after Fury signed last month to fight under Top Rank on ESPN. He has gone back-and-forth with Anthony Joshua since last year, with the two sides unable to agree on a deal.
Joshua is signed to Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing and fights exclusively on DAZN. According to ESPN’s Dan Rafael, DAZN made two multi-million dollar contract offers to Wilder to create a bout with Joshua, which Wilder rejected. The offers would have required three or four fight commitments.
Wilder says not locking himself into a deal so that he could maintain flexibility, and also fighting on networks with greater visibility than DAZN factored into his decision-making.
“The thing about having freedom is that it allows you to dictate your career,” Wilder said Tuesday. “When you sign with people, now they’re in control. We’ve seen many fighters get into situations with promoters and get put on the shelf. They have families they need to feed but they aren’t in control. You don’t want to be tied up for a long time.
“The more eyeballs, the better, especially because I give you your money’s worth. I’m the people’s champion. Some fail to realize that we have our own money, our own networks with a big audience, and a big stable of heavyweights. They always saying I’m stuck, what is my next move, but the question is, what are these other guys going to do? I’ve got a lot of options here with heavyweights at PBC.”
PBC is promoting Wilder’s fight with Breazeale, and their relationships are with Showtime and FOX. Breazeale is 20-1, with his lone loss coming against Joshua. Wilder really should be fighting Fury or Joshua.