It’s Day 10 here at the Crucible of Dreams and we were treated to a visit from Snooker Supremo Barry Hearn. He was here to make some major announcements and clearly the game is in a healthy state.
And, although I love the heavyweights of the baize I could not resist talking boxing.
Hearn exclusively revealed to me live on Betfred TV that Deontay Wilder will have one last chance to land a dream bout with heavyweight king Anthony Joshua.
Wilder has called AJ out and offered the WBA (Super), IBO and WBO title holder $50million to take the fight in the US – but Hearn believes it’s all a publicity stunt to get son Eddie to up his price.
Eddie offered the WBC heavyweight champion $12.5million to unify the division but Hearn told me his son will send the American’s camp an improved deal in the next day or two.
Speaking exclusively to me from the Crucible, Hearn said: “I’d like to think that’s true [getting the fight on], but we’re in an ego driven world in boxing.
“Deontay Wilder, not his manager, makes us an offer via email for $50million and I don’t think he’s got $50million because he hasn’t earned any money so far.
“We ignore that because we asked for a meeting on Thursday, they said yes and then cancelled, we asked for another meeting on Friday, they said yes and they cancelled again.
“We asked for a draft contract and said ‘no, you’ve got to accept the deal first’ and I said ‘we find it difficult to accept a deal when we don’t see a contract’.
“I think it’s just a publicity stunt, but it could be a quite clever publicity stunt. Eddie offered them $12.5million which is five or six times more than Deontay has ever earned in his life plus 50-50 on the rematch.
“Maybe their red-herring offer doesn’t exist and is their way of saying to us ‘you’ve got to up your offer’. It might have worked because Eddie has just arrived back from New York and low and behold the man who’s in charge, who’s not me, is ready to give them a revised offer.”
Everyone wants to see AJ go to blows with Tyson Fury mark two.
The British superfight would no doubt sell out whatever stadium they choose to headline but Hearn feels Fury will prize himself out of the market – to the disappointment of millions of boxing fans.
He said: “He’s miles off being ready to fight AJ, probably a year to being ready physically and technically.
“It’s a great fight and one we’d love instantly if it came about.
“I think Tyson Fury will prize himself out of the market. He thinks he’s the second coming and he’s just not worth that money.”
Back to the snooker and Judd Trump will take on John Higgins is a repeat of the classic 2011 Betfred World Snooker Championship final tomorrow in the quarter-finals.
The raucous reception both players received on that famous night was one of the very best atmosphere’s I’ve experienced in the world of sport!
Odds subject to change