OTT & Digital

Deontay Wilder ‘in talks’ with DAZN

Meeting with John Skipper could set up Anthony Joshua bout.

by Tom Bassam

Deontay Wilder ‘in talks’ with DAZN

Heavyweight boxing star Deontay Wilder is holding talks regarding a potential media rights deal with over-the-top (OTT) service DAZN, according to multiple reports.

Boxing publication the Ring says the WBC heavyweight champion will meet with DAZN executive chairman John Skipper this week after a recent phone call, with Wilder’s promoter Lou DiBella apparently arranging the discussions.

Wilder has reportedly informed his advisors, Al Haymon and Shelly Finkel, about the opportunity to meet with Skipper, with DAZN partner and Matchroom managing director Eddie Hearn to be kept away from the talks to ease their passage.

According to the Ring, Skipper will lay out a multi-fight offer to Wilder that would pay him at least US$20 million per fight on DAZN, with the second bout of the deal seeing Wilder face Anthony Joshua for the undisputed heavyweight championship.

Digital outlet Boxingscene claims that Wilder will be offered a two-fight deal worth US$50 million in total and that he is also considering an offer to fight on ESPN.

Skipper, talking at the press conference to announce Gennady Golovkin’s new deal with DAZN, said of the Wilder links: “I will not characterise them all, or even confirm them. We have discussions with people and until we announce I rarely comment on them until we announce.

“I don’t have anything to announce, so no comment, other than we’re interested in having the best fights on DAZN and we will put the fights on that people want to see. It’s pretty clear that one fight people want to see is Joshua and Wilder.”

Wilder has historically fought on Haymon’s PBC but announced last month he is a “free agent” in media terms. The 33-year-old is reportedly scheduled to fight Dominic Breazeale in a Showtime pay-per-view on 18th May in New York after Wilder saw his rematch with Tyson Fury fall apart when the Englishman signed a multi-fight deal with Top Rank to compete on ESPN and the ESPN+ OTT service.

Top Rank reportedly recently offered Wilder a two-fight deal that brought in US$12.5 million for the first bout, forcing PBC to push its proposed bout with Breazeale to PPV in order to make its own deal more financially rewarding.

Hearn also apparently offered Wilder a multi-fight deal - ignored by the boxer’s team - that guaranteed US$30 million for a title tilt with Joshua.

Boxingscene also reports that undefeated Polish heavyweight contender Adam Kownacki is considering offers from DAZN and ESPN.