Deontay Wilder has disappointed Anthony Joshua yet again by putting off a massive undisputed unification until at the very least 2020.
As WBN pointed out a while ago, Wilder is tied into agreements with several fighters for the foreseeable future.
Following his crushing win at Barclays Center over Dominic Breazeale, Wilder will now rematch Luis Ortiz. The clash is expected to take place in September, potentially in Los Angeles, New York or Las Vegas.
“To all my fans, I want to announce that Luis Ortiz and I have signed for a rematch, with the date and site to be announced shortly.
“All my controversial fights must get dealt with ASAP,” confirmed Wilder.
Furthermore, Wilder is then set to be pitched in with Tyson Fury again in February of 2020. A trilogy fight with Fury and a defense against Adam Kownacki are also on the cards for the remainder of next year and beyond.
This means any hope Joshua has of attempting to take Wilder’s WBC belt squarely lies on the ‘Bronze Bomber’ suffering a loss, not once but twice.
Ortiz defeating Wilder would see the Cuban hold the crown. ‘King Kong’ would then have to win a second bout due to a clause in the contract.
Only then would Joshua be able to attempt to persuade Ortiz to face him for all the marbles. Beyond a shock Ortiz win, Wilder will keep the strap away from Joshua for some time to come.
It seems distasteful negotiations in 2018 have run deeper than expected. Some of promoter Eddie Hearn’s comments towards Shelly Finkel and Wilder have certainly had a knock-on effect.
A ‘Shirley Winkle’ tag, coupled with bad-mouthing of Wilder may have contributed to Finkel aiming to steer a new path for the American champion.
Wilder can make big bucks in two more outings with Fury on ESPN and Showtime shared Pay-Per-View. This leaves Joshua to pick up his guaranteed checks against also-rans on DAZN.
A lack of PPV on the DAZN platform seems to have been a major factor in Wilder signing an extension with Showtime.
It could conceivably be a ploy by Wilder and Finkel to wait until DAZN either establish themselves as a major force in the sport or disband altogether.
This way, Joshua v Wilder could take place on the paid Showtime format. The huge encounter has the potential to be one of the biggest heavyweight contests in recent memory.
The likes of Lennox Lewis, Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield all made shed loads of cash in huge PPV encounters. This is seemingly where Wilder wants to keep his major fight career moving forward.
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay