Anthony Joshua is keen to lure his American rival Deontay Wilder to the United Kingdom for their highly anticipated heavyweight title bout by taking a pay cut of €7m, his promoter Eddie Hearn has confirmed.
Joshua, 28, is eager to become the first man after Lennox Lewis to hold four heavyweight championship belts.
He already holds three belts – IBF, WBA and WBO. And winning Wilder’s version (WBC) of the title will provide him the final piece in the jigsaw to write his name in the history books forever.
But the American is playing hardball in negotiations, hoping to force Joshua to travel to the US by offering him $50m.
“One thing is for absolute certain, AJ wants Wilder next,” Joshua’s promoter, Eddie Hearn told The Telegraph.
“He’s made that clear. He also feels though, after talking to Rob McCracken, his trainer and manager, that this is a fight that should be delivered in the UK.
“One for the fans and two, he feels like he’s earned that right.
“AJ’s not really swayed by an extra £10m or £15m. He’d rather do the fight over here in front of his fans.
“There have been talks ongoing with Alexander Povetkin’s team because he’s our mandatory opponent (for the WBA title). If it’s not Wilder it will almost certainly be Povetkin, which is also a tough fight. We’ll see how the conversations go, but I’d say we’ve got another three weeks to go.”