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Home » Deontay Wilder to be offered immediate WBC title shot

Deontay Wilder to be offered immediate WBC title shot

Deontay Wilder has another opportunity to claim the WBC title if he comes through Zhilei Zhang on the 5vs5 show in Riyadh this weekend.

The former heavyweight champion, locked out at his current weight due to an undisputed rematch between Oleksandr Usyk and Tyson Fury, is being targeted by new WBC bridgerweight champion Lawrence Okolie.

Despite Wilder vowing never to fight in the 224-pound weight class, Wilder has no championship opportunities on the horizon. The puncher, who regularly weighs inside the bridgerweight limit, will receive an offer from Okolie soon, according to trainer Joe Gallagher.

“There’s a good unification fight there, and there are smaller heavyweights [Okolie can target],” Gallagher told Sky Sports after the Londoner took the belt from Lukasz Rozanski with a first-round KO in Poland.

“Deontay Wilder is only fifteen and a half [UK stones = 217 pounds]. The weights of heavyweights, Lawrence is there at the moment.

“I’d like to see him unify this with the WBA championship and then move into the heavyweights,” he added.

World Boxing News has discussed this possibility from the moment the WBC launched the bridgerweight division. Wilder was previously open to dropping down to cruiserweight [200 pounds] but ruled out the newer category after inception.

Should Wilder receive a concrete offer and have no chance of fighting Anthony Joshua, Jared Anderson, or Oleksandr Usyk? In that case, it’s debatable that “The Bronze Bomber” would turn down a massive UK clash at the O2 Arena.

Deontay Wilder dropping down to bridgerweight

Former world champion George Groves believes Okolie vs Wilder is a no-brainer.

“I think, now, this is his time to capitalize on being a world champion,” Groves told Sky Sports. “There are going to be a lot of heavyweights out there with big names, who are not huge, who are going to be thinking, ‘Am I ever going to win the heavyweight world championship in the near future? Maybe not, but I can be a world champion if I take on Lawrence Okolie’.

“I think, maybe, Deontay Wilder is the sort of character who goes, ‘I’m such a big name, I’m a former heavyweight world champion, I can’t see me just getting a shot at a heavyweight world title any time soon. Why not become a two-weight world champion by fighting at bridgerweight?'”

Wilder has his hands considerably full against the Chinese juggernaut, Zhang. He knows a bad defeat could spell the end of his career on Saturday night.

Read all articles and exclusive interviews by Phil Jay. Learn more about the author, experienced boxing writer, and World Boxing News Editor since 2010. Follow on Twitter @PhilJWBN.