According to express.co.uk, Deontay Wilder has accused Anthony Joshua of avoiding him and has offered insider evidence to back up his claim. After Joshua’s ‘fishy’ attitude to attempts to schedule the blockbuster fight in 2018, the Bronze Bomber believes the writing was on the wall.

Wilder’s handlers approached Joshua with a hefty £40.5 million ($50 million) fight offer five years ago, when both men were still world champions. However, Joshua turned down the offer after raising worries about how the transaction damaged his long-standing partnerships.

“So, let’s say the 50 million we talked about,” he said to iFL TV at the time. Listen, it’s a lot of money, and just having that figure thrown at me was an honor. But then when you analyzed it and what it actually was, it was kind of like a rights fee – ‘We own you for this amount of money’.

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“The issue I had was that I’ve had long-standing contracts in place with certain relationships. So, you may put that money down and believe that you own me 100%, but you may only own 50%, making their 50% worth 25%. So, when you start getting into the complexities of a contract and what the true value is, that’s when everything begins happening.

“So, the $50m was wonderful, it’s a big sum, but there are factors in place that don’t make that $50m worth it to the person paying it.”

Both parties’ communication lines have lately reopened, with AJ’s promoter Eddie Hearn and Wilder’s manager Shell Finkel exchanging emails.

Hearn is hopeful that a fight can be made before Joshua’s upcoming fights with Jermaine Franklin and Dillian Whyte.