Deontay Wilder vs Anthony Joshua might be closer than you think

📸 Mark Robinson / Amanda Westcott

World Boxing News knew better than some of the painstaking lengths both sides have gone to in an attempt to make Deontay Wilder vs Anthony Joshua a reality.

Deeply briefed on negotiations back in the summer of 2018, WBN was at the forefront of releasing information on the Wilder side.

The American tried everything he could to get the fight over the line back then. Wilder was searching for a nemesis to begin a long-standing saga with.

As it turned out, Tyson Fury stepped out of retirement and into the limelight to accept where Joshua and promoter Eddie Hearn faltered and flustered.

Joshua was left to contemplate a lower-key United States debut. Which, as it turned out, worked out pretty well for AJ – in the end.

Defeated by Andy Ruiz Jr. when humbled in New York, Joshua came back to gain revenge against an over-indulged Mexican in Saudi Arabia six months later.

So where do we stand now between Joshua and Wilder? – Well, closer than many people think.

Should Wilder take out Fury in devastating fashion on February 22nd in Las Vegas, an agreed third fight may never happen.

Both heavyweights have the option of a third fight but are at the mercy of the loser. Therefore, Fury getting taken out in the way Wilder has been doing with his opponents of late could spell the end of the feud, for now.

Fury may want to envoke the clause but not immediately. Giving Wilder the opportunity to battle Joshua over the later summer.

📸 Mikey Williams / Stephanie Trapp / Mark Robinson

In what could become a smart move, Wilder beating Joshua would then see Fury get the chance at five belts instead of just one. All depends on Wilder becoming the ‘One Face, One Name’ he continuously promises.

One fighter who predicted the clash would happen is Wladimir Klitschko. Upon losing to Joshua in an epic, ‘Dr. Steelhammer’ was convinced Joshua vs Wilder would happen.

He told Elie Seckbach in 2018: “Well, sometimes this question becomes confusing because if you pick one guy who probably in a certain way will lose respect to the other guy. I believe that a fully united champion is going to represent exactly which you just asked, like the guy.

“We still have some champions there in the heavyweight division holding the titles. I think we’re gonna see the match probably in the near future between Wilder and Joshua, that’s really exciting, isn’t it?

“They’re both tall, heavy, strong, determined. I think between Joshua and Wilder, it’s very tough to pick anyone because they have their strong sides. Other (weak) sides so the one that is going to use the other sides during the match hopefully one thing going to happen. We’ll see the unified champion. That’s something fans have been waiting for, for a long time.

“I’m sure there are different opinions. People picking to win the fight for both guys.


PROS and CONS

“Joshua is young and strong, he’s very hungry and determined. Wilder is experienced, even if he’s a heavyweight he’s lighter.

“There are always pros and cons to both sides. The amateur background of Joshua as an Olympic champion shows that he has really good skills.

“While Wilder has been a professional, a seasoned professional for a very long time now (also Olympic bronze medalist). I mean years.

“It’s a really tough choice to pick. Who is the one? But one day we’ll hopefully see the match. We’ll see one unified champion.”

Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay

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