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Exclusive: Deontay Wilder vs Anthony Joshua eyed for late 2023

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Deontay Wilder vs Anthony Joshua has been pushed back before any real serious talks began, World Boxing News can reveal.

The news comes as Wilder and his team proclaim to be in the dark over Joshua, stating the fight will “definitely” happen in a recent magazine interview.

WBN put those quotes to Shelly Finkel, the co-manager of the “Bronze Bomber.” Without second guessing anything, Finkel doesn’t know where such confidence in the bout getting over the line came from.

Deontay Wilder

“Your guess is as good as mine. I hope it is [definitely going to happen,” Finkel exclusively told World Boxing News.

Asked about the Briton facing compatriot Dillian Whyte in a rematch next, Finkel stated the Wilder vs Joshua would be pushed back a few months.

“Probably so, August to October,” confirmed Finkel as work continues on making a huge Pay Per View stateside with Andy Ruiz Jr.

The origin of hope that Wilder vs Joshua will finally come to fruition came from a story with British GQ.

Anthony Joshua

Joshua told the UK magazine: “Let’s look to the future. It will definitely happen [the fight with Deontay Wilder].

“We’re in the same division. We’re in the same era, which means the fight has to happen. 2023 is looming, it’s a big year for boxing, and that fight will definitely happen.”

The former two-time heavyweight champion also discussed the Whyte return and Tyson Fury before ruling out an MMA run.

“South London vs North London,” Joshua said on Whyte. He added: “Fury is good, but he’s a Manchester boy. I think Dillian has more swag in general, but he’s come up short a few times.”

“{in MMA] I would get my ass kicked. All credit to them, guys, but it’s not my profession. And I’m going to respect those guys who have spent years putting in the time, training, grappling, wrestling, stand-up, takedown, and submissions.

“It’s like them coming over to boxing. I know I would smoke them as well. I did try judo when I was younger.

“It was very challenging, and when you’re ten or twelve, the last thing you want to be doing is getting flipped in the air and landing on your head, so I stopped.”

Separate roads

Right now, Wilder and Joshua have alternative routes to an eventual battle. That’s despite the best intentions of Finkel when he opened a communication line with Joshua’s handler Eddie Hearn.

As a few weeks ago, when WBN spoke to Finkel over his willingness to talk to Hearn, it remains the belief that Wilder vs Ruiz is the fight that’s happening first.

The pair are already locked in with the WBC. The winner will then be mandatory for Tyson Fury or Oleksandr Usyk.

Dependent on that result, Wilder and Joshua could collide before any title shot with the mandatory position up for grabs.

Follow experienced boxing writer Phil Jay on Twitter @PhilJWBN. Follow WBN: Facebook, Insta, Twitter