Deontay Wilder is unlikely to accept any advances to fight Anthony Joshua in a warm-up for Oleksandr Usyk, WBN understands.
According to reports, Joshua is open to an interim fight before the Usyk rematch, but don’t expect that to be a fight with Wilder.
Having been linked to stepping aside to allow Tyson Fury a fight with Oleksandr Usyk, Joshua focused on Usyk.
But the war in Ukraine has taken up most of Usyk’s time. The unified champion is focused only on fighting Russia.
Joshua has brought a fresh pair of eyes [Angel Fernandez] to the senior position in his training camp, which a practice run could help.
But Deontay Wilder is no practice run. Let’s get that straight.
Wilder is still to announce his plans after taking time away from boxing. A second loss to Fury means reflection time is needed.
There’s also the fact that Wilder is suspended in Nevada until next month due to his knockout defeat.
WBN speculated that Wilder could come into play for Joshua as an alternative to facing Usyk as early as last month. However, that was before the conflict in Ukraine became a deciding factor.
Not to mention the fact Wilder vs. Joshua should have happened in 2018, as WBN reported extensively and exclusively at that time.
However, in 2022 and with both coming off a loss, that time doesn’t look to be now.
The fight would be a tougher sell than usual as the pair need to get back to being their destructive selves.
Joshua now has a huge decision to make on whether or not he waits to see out the contract he put in place himself after such a damaging defeat.
Usyk is at far shorter odds with bookmakers than he was for the first bout with AJ, with a stoppage favored this time around.
Therefore, Joshua has to be very careful who he faces. Realistically, he doesn’t want any part of Deontay Wilder.
Can Joshua risk a third career loss at this stage? – It would be unthinkable.
Regarding Deontay Wilder’s next move, going down the PBC also-ran route before battling Andy Ruiz Jr. on Pay Per View remains the clever play where he is concerned.
Hopefully, he’ll be back in action by the summer.
Phil Jay – Editor of World Boxing News since 2010 with over one billion views. Follow WBN on Twitter @WorldBoxingNews.