Deontay Wilder aims to knock Tyson Fury out next month before facing Anthony Joshua in an undisputed heavyweight title clash.
“The Bronze Bomber” lost out on a much-publicized battle with Joshua in 2018 despite offering $50m to the Briton.
Joshua had previously stated he would take the encounter if Wilder offered that figure. However, he fought Alexander Povetkin instead.
Three years on, and Deontay Wilder heads into the most important challenge of his career. A redemption win against Fury could certainly re-open old wounds if negotiations with Joshua can reignite.
Discussing the former WBC heavyweight champion’s plan, co-manager Shelly Finkel offered insight into their thinking.
“He is definitely capable. But, again, no excuses, he wasn’t the Deontay we know in that second fight, and we’ll be looking to surprise the world,” Finkel told Sky Sports.
“We’re not really that surprised if it happens, but everyone else will, and I honestly believe Deontay is going to stop him this time.
“That would be the obvious next goal [Joshua], but we can’t even think there. We have to focus totally on this fight. This is what is in front of him.
“This is what’s important, and this is what Deontay’s goal is. Nothing will be bigger than this, even if he were to go on then and defeat Joshua. This is the biggest thing for him.”
On whether Wilder can channel the first bout while forgetting what happened in the second, Finkel added: “Without a doubt.
“Look, it’s debatable if he had knocked out Fury the first time. A lot of people thought it was a longer count.
“I wouldn’t, if I was the ref [Jack Reiss], seeing that knockdown, have continued the fight. But, okay, Fury did okay, and he was fine.
“If Deontay had hit him with another big shot at that point, it also may have been very serious.”
DEONTAY WILDER POWER
Deontay Wilder almost put Fury through the canvas in December 2018, just failing to “nail him to the floor” as “The Gypsy King” had told him pre-fight he needed to do.
Fury then gave himself an extra year to prepare after losing a ton of weight and signing with Top Rank. Adding trainer Sugarhill Steward was the final piece of the puzzle.
On February 22nd of 2020, Fury bulldozed Wilder and made him look amateurish. Many believe the American faces an uphill battle to avoid a similar beating.
Regarding Joshua, Oleksandr Usyk looks to be next up this fall at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Usyk is no walk in the park for someone who has proven to be vulnerable himself, like Wilder.
But in a nutshell, we have a semi-final tournament of sorts. Whoever comes out on top in both could meet in 2022 for all the gold.