Sky Sports Head: If no Wilder or Povetkin, Joshua could still fight in USA this August

Lawrence Lustig

Anthony Joshua could fight in America this coming August if fights with Deontay Wilder or Alexander Povetkin fail to materialize, says Sky Sports Head of Boxing Adam Smith. 

Smith made the claim in an interview with a UK tabloid ON THE SAME DAY Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn and manager Robert McCracken effectively ruled out a stateside fight.

Joshua has turned down a $50m offer to face Wilder across the Atlantic in favor of defending his belts on home soil, although without a massive undisputed unification, Smith believes ‘AJ’ may go to the USA via a different route.

“AJ will go down very well in America,” Smith told The Daily Star. “But he’s said many times he likes fighting in Britain and maybe he wants to stay here.

“The stadiums are full and he’s huge news – a real superstar. He could carry on doing that for a few fights and then go to America.

“I’d like to see him go to the States, I think they’re talking possibly about a Miller fight at the end of August in New York if Alexander Povetkin or Wilder doesn’t come off.

“I think that’s a sensible move. Brits going to America, Lenox Lewis did it successfully but many other have failed.

“Ricky Hatton did extremely well out in Vegas with his fanbase.”

On the opportunity to enrich his fortune in a bigger pond, Smith added: “I think AJ ticks every box in the marketing and publicity department. I think he can be huge in America. They’ll love him.

“The brands will all want him as will the TV stations. It’s a no-brainer at some point, he should go.

“It’s in his hands – he doesn’t have to go now – but he will at some point whether it’s New York or Las Vegas (it will happen).

“Joshua needs to fight in America and I’d say within the next year,” predicted Smith.

The scenario Smith speaks of is highly unlikely to happen anyway as Povetkin is already pencilled in to fight Joshua in the UK this September should the Wilder bout collapse, as expected.

Mandatories with the WBO and WBA will be settled once Joshua faces Povetkin before more serious talks can begin with Wilder for a huge battle in 2019.