Former unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua knocked back $50million to face WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder in 2018, according to Shelly Finkel.
At the time, Joshua held the IBF, WBA and WBO championships.
Finkel, who co-manages Wilder alongside Al Haymon, was part of team negotiating the four-title unification bout with Joshua’s promoter Matchroom Boxing.
Wilder is set to defend his title against the dangerous Luis Ortiz this Saturday night, while Joshua will attempt to regain his world titles in a rematch against Andy Ruiz Jr on December 7.
“We feel, if you are a champion, you want to fight the best out there. Deontay has always wanted to fight the best,” Finkel said to iFL TV.
“Contrary to what some other people said, he always wanted the fight with Joshua and I think with time it proved what Deontay is.
“And now he has got to prove it again Saturday and then, pretty soon after, we will discuss and put together the last pieces of the [Tyson] Fury puzzle.”
He added: “Before the fight [against Ruiz Jr], I read where Joshua went out and said ‘it took me seven rounds to knock out [Dominic] Breazeale and if Deontay takes eight it shows who is the better fighter’.
“And then Deontay destroyed him in one and after that, Joshua said publicly ‘I am shocked how he did it’ and it played on him.
“So I don’t know if he really wanted to, because we offered $50million and he didn’t take it.”
If Wilder is successful this weekend, he is widely expected to face Tyson Fury in a rematch in Las Vegas in late February.
That fight would be a return bout following the pair’s thrilling draw in Los Angeles in December 2018.
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