The latest news in the increasingly entertaining American heavyweight boxing scene is an attempt by Main Events and hall-of-fame matchmaker, J. Russell Peltz, to match their undefeated heavyweight prospect, Bryant Jennings, with Oscar De La Hoya and Golden Boy Boxing’s big man bell cow and 2008 Olympic bronze medalist, Deontay Wilder.
It’s been quite the war of words on twitter so far, mostly stirred up (and therefore out into the open) by Main Events’ Nicole Duva via the promotional company’s twitter account.
“Deontay @BronzeBomber Wilder called out Bryant @BYJennings so we've offered him a fight against BY in the main event on Dec. 8th on @NBCSN,” Duva tweeted yesterday.
Today, Duva indicated the offer was rebuffed by Golden Boy.
“Not a surprise: Deontay @BronzeBomber Wilder just passed on offer to fight Bryant @BYJennings in NBCSN main event on Dec. 8th,” Nicole tweeted.
For his part, Wilder refutes the offer having ever been made to him at all, but it’s likely his handlers simply wouldn’t come to him with an offered fight unless they were seriously considering it for him.
“@Main_Events @BYJennings lol what a joke I knew this was a promotion stunt cause D Wilder ain't turn down nothing lol #wow,” Wilder tweeted in amazement.
A short time later, Duva tweeted out a picture of the email offer letter sent by Peltz to Golden Boy counterpart Eric Gomez (with the amount offered for the fight redacted, of course).
So what exactly is there to make of all this? Here are three key things.
If you’re a boxing fan and you aren’t on twitter yet, you’re missing out. Don’t think of it as Facebook or any other type of social media outlet you don’t like because you’re Aunt Betty or whoever keeps tabs on you with it. Instead, think of it like you do any other boxing news outlet you might subscribe to and keep it that way by only following boxers, boxing writers and promotional companies. It’s well worth it.
This fight was likely dead as soon as Main Events tweeted about it on twitter. How do I know? Because big-time matchups like this don’t get made by promoters on twitter. They happen behind closed towards with all the proper players involved. A promoter would only tag a fighter out in the open like this for one of two reasons. Either negotiations aren’t going well (or are expected to fail) so the promoter is making a last ditch attempt to salvage the proposal, or the promoter is a complete amateur. I assure you Duva and Peltz are no amateurs.
As much as I like Wilder as a prospect AND as much as I like this match-up, pitting him against a tough nut like Bryant Jennings would be the wrong move in my opinion. He hasn’t faced the level of competition Jennings has been in with yet, so it’d probably be a better approach for Golden Boy to put him in with that level of competition first (the level Jennings has already proven himself against) before actually facing the fighter himself. Still, the heavyweight boxing fan in me would rather just see these two guys throw caution to the wind and get in the ring as soon as possible.
I reached out to both parties for comment on the matter. Duva indicated Gomez replied to the offer letter from Peltz by email saying only that Wilder was already scheduled to fight on December 15th. It’s worth noting, perhaps, such an event is not yet listed on Golden Boy’s website or Boxrec.com, and that Wilder seems unaware of it as well.
Meanwhile, Gomez has been unavailable for comment.