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Shelly Finkel avoided Eddie Hearn’s ‘big’ offer to set up Deontay Wilder-Anthony Joshua duel

Deontay Wilder’s manager Shelly Finkel has responded to claims by Eddie Hearn that he ignored an offer of a fight against Anthony Joshua.

Finkel admitted he ignored Hearn’s approach of orchestrating a delicious clash between Wilder and Joshua, instead focusing on the American’s upcoming clash with Finn Robert Helenius.

Hearn had told SecondsOut that he had reached out to Wilder’s team about a fight arrangement, but after receiving no word, he suspected Wilder wasn’t interested.

Finkel told talkSPORT: “It’s come out a couple of times from Eddie Hearn that I’ve avoided him. That’s partly true, well it’s totally true. We’re about to have a row with Robert Helenius. Eddie emailed me, “Can we talk? i have something big [offer] for Deontay.”

“Right now we have the Helenius fight, that’s all we have to focus on. Because if something had gone wrong there, nothing else would have happened. And if things go well, everything will work out. And I felt like if I got on the phone with Eddie, the next thing you’d do on the phone would be, “Oh, did you and Eddie talk?” So I said to Deontay and Al Haymon, “What do you think?” And they said, “Let’s just get this fight out of the way.”

‘And sure enough [Hearn says], “Shelly didn’t even speak to me.” I think he also has the feeling that I don’t like Eddie. no I don’t always agree with him, we’re on opposite sides, he’s got a fighter that will hopefully be an opponent for one of my guys, in this case Deontay, and it’s nothing like that.

“Barry Hearn and I go back 30/40 years and it’s always been very heartfelt. And the Eddie thing, look, he hasn’t been around as long as he thinks he has, but he’s done some really exciting good things, so I give him credit for that.

“And when it’s time to make a deal, it’ll be done or not. It was done with Wladimir Klitschko and now he seems to be on his way to fight Tyson Fury, I wish him the best.”

With Wilder set to face Helenius on October 3 and Tyson Fury set to face Joshua in one of the most anticipated bouts in division history, Oleksandr Usyk is keen to set up a meeting with Wilder.

The Ukrainian holds three belts and appeared close to a clash with Fury before the Gypsy King appeared to shift his focus to an all-British showdown with Joshua.

And Usyk has also cast his gaze elsewhere, identifying Wilder as his next potential opponent and stating he wants to be ringside for his clash with the Finnish fighter next month.

Finkel added: “The other day we got a message that Usyk will fight against us if Joshua goes the way of Fury, yes we’re open to it, we’re not against it at all.

“And if not, there’s Andy Ruiz Jr., there are several other options.

“In my eyes to the point of fury [vs Joshua] It came, I thought we’d talk to Helenius after the fight, Eddie and I, but things happen.’

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