Heavyweight world titlist Deontay Wilder's mandatory defense against Dominic Breazeale is set to be announced at a news conference on Tuesday afternoon at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, but that is not the intriguing part.
That Wilder will face Breazeale is no secret because it is the mandatory fight that was ordered recently by the WBC once talks for a rematch between Wilder and lineal champion Tyson Fury ended last month. Besides, organizers issued a media alert disclosing the Wilder-Breazeale fight as a topic of the news conference.
However, which broadcast platform Wilder will fight on -- either Showtime or Fox, or their pay-per-view arms, the network of Premier Boxing Champions, for which Wilder fights, was not disclosed.
But the fight will not be on sports streaming service DAZN after Wilder and his team of co-managers Shelly Finkel and Al Haymon rejected a nine-figure multifight offer.
Wilder and his team met with DAZN executive chairman John Skipper in New York last Tuesday to discuss a deal that would have led to a showdown for the undisputed heavyweight world championship with unified titleholder Anthony Joshua as long as Wilder and Joshua won interim bouts. Wilder's ninth title defense against Breazeale likely will take place on May 18 at Barclays Center and Joshua will make his United States debut in his seventh defense against Jarrell "Big Baby" Miller on June 1 at Madison Square Garden in New York.
DAZN offered Wilder two versions of a deal from which he could pick, two sources with knowledge of the offers told ESPN.
One deal, the sources said, was for three fights worth $100 million. The first fight would have been a $20 million payday to fight Breazeale this spring, which is way over the market value for that level fight. Wilder was guaranteed $10 million to fight Fury in their exciting draw on Showtime PPV on Dec. 1. The second fight would have been for $40 million to fight Joshua in the fall for the undisputed title with the third fight being an immediate rematch with Joshua for another $40 million -- even if Wilder, in the worst-case scenario, had gotten knocked out, even in the first round, of the first fight by Joshua (22-0, 21 KOs), 29, of England.
The second version of the offer, one of the sources said, would have paid Wilder $20 million to fight Breazeale, $40 million for the Joshua fight, a $20 million fight against another opponent to be determined followed by another $40 million for a rematch with Joshua in the fourth fight.
In addition, one of the sources said the first fight with Joshua was guaranteed to be in the United States with DAZN willing to have the second fight in Joshua's native United Kingdom, even though the time zone would put a live stream of the fight on in the late afternoon instead of closer to the preferred time of 11:30 p.m. ET, which is when most major fights go off for U.S. broadcasts.
After Fury signed a co-promotional deal with Top Rank last month to bring his fights to ESPN platforms, the much-anticipated rematch with Wilder, which was close to being finalized, fell apart because Wilder also rejected an offer from Top Rank for $12.5 million for a summer fight against an opponent to be determined followed by $20 million to fight Fury again on ESPN PPV in the fall.
All the while, DAZN was also trying to lure Wilder (40-0-1, 39 KOs), 33, of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, to its platform with the promise of the Joshua fight, which Wilder has been calling for. But Wilder turned it down for whatever deal he got that will include the fight with Breazeale (20-1, 18 KOs), 33, of Eastvale, California, that will be announced on Tuesday.
Finkel declined to comment to ESPN on Wilder's deal but said it would be discussed at the news conference on Tuesday.