EXCLUSIVE: Deontay Wilder manager Shelly Finkel reacts to AJ’s KO loss

Deontay Wilder’s co-manager Shelly Finkel has spoken to WBN in the wake of witnessing a shock defeat for Anthony Joshua in New York.

Joshua was dropped four times by Andy Ruiz Jr. on his way to relinquishing his four world title belts. The contest took place in front of a pro-British crowd at Madison Square Garden.

A super-fight with Deontay Wilder is now highly unlikely to take place anytime soon. Negotiations had previously failed on several occasions.

Rather than kicking a man whilst he’s down, Finkel revealed his disappointment for Joshua as Ruiz made a name for himself.

“It was very surprising, to say the least,” Finkel exclusively told World Boxing News on Sunday morning.

“After Ruiz was dropped in the third he came roaring back and showed his grit. I think Joshua also got stung by a body shot in the sixth.

“The seventh was the end and I believe Anthony Joshua just didn’t want it anymore.

“What we witnessed was a true ‘Rocky’ story for Andy Ruiz Jr.

“I’m happy for Ruiz, but at the same time, I’m sad for Joshua. We will see if he can overcome this adversity,” he added.

Finkel was an integral part of attempts to make Joshua v Wilder happen in 2018. Talks broke down when contracts hit a snag.

Wilder has since gone on to blast out former Joshua opponent Dominic Breazeale in six rounds less and has already lined up Luis Ortiz and Tyson Fury as his next two opponents.


Conflicting reports of a rematch clause in the contract of Joshua v Ruiz have since surfaced. WBN believes this is the case and the pair will be forced together again this year.

Tottenham Hotspurs’ new stadium has emerged as a frontrunner, although a date of November or December would be unworkable.

Cardiff’s Principality Stadium, due to the closable roof, would be the more likely venue for Joshua v Ruiz II.

British fans were visibly shaken at what transpired in Joshua’s United States debut, which ultimately hands control of the top division to Al Haymon.

For promoter Eddie Hearn’s sake, Joshua has to find redemption in a rematch and re-open the chances of a fight with either Wilder or Tyson Fury.

Ruiz has placed himself as one of a newly-formed heavyweight ‘big four’ and is just one victory away from controlling his own destiny.

Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay