Joshua says he’d fight Deontay Wilder in U.S
By Scott Gilfoid: IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua (16-0, 16 KOs) says he’d be willing to come to the United States to fight WBC heavyweight champion Deontay “Bronze Bomber” Wilder (36-0, 35 KOs) in the future in a fight that would be televised on Showtime, the network that recently signed the 26-year-old fighter to a multi-fight contract to have his UK staged fights televised in America.
Wilder, 6’7”, already said this week that he would like to fight Joshua this year in October or November if he wins his fight against the American talent Dominic Breazeale (17-0, 15 KOs) this Saturday night at the O2 Arena in London, UK.
Deontay thinks there’s a decent chance Joshua will lose to the hungry Breazeale, because the American fighter really wants it bad. Indeed, Deontay is calling the Joshua-Breazeale fight a 50-50 affair that can go either way. It will come down to which of the two fighters can fight through adversity.
“It is a big market. It comes with pressure, but one day I’ll box there and I’ll think to myself ‘why didn’t I capitalize on that market?” said Joshua to skysports.com. “It’s something that I want to start progressing to. One of the fights that I’m going to have, I will go there. The person that springs to mind is Wilder.”
I really think Joshua is going to need to get on a plane and start fighting in the U.S if he wants to earn a fight against Wilder, because he’s got to be fighting in the U.S if wants to get a fight against the countries’ top heavyweight.
You can’t just have Joshua come over to the U.S for the Wilder fight because it won’t draw flies if the American public has never seen Joshua before. I mean, how do you expect the American boxing fans to get excited about seeing Joshua vs. Wilder if they’ve never seen Joshua fight before except for perhaps in the 2012 London Olympics in him winning that controversial gold medal. I doubt that many casual boxing fans even bothered watching the Olympics.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news but the Olympics don’t draw great TV ratings in the U.S like they used to in the U.S.
Wilder’s promoter Lou Dibella thinks it’s too early for Joshua to come to the U.S to face Deontay because he doesn’t have a big enough name yet. For many American fight fans, this will be the first time they’ve seen Joshua fight this Saturday night when he faces Breazeale. Even if Joshua shines in that fight, it’s not going to be enough for him to create a big enough audience for a future match-up against Deontay to be a huge success.
Joshua will need to keep fighting and keep having his fights televised on Showtime for the American boxing fans to get hooked on him. I think it would also be contingent on Joshua actually fighting good opponents every time out. If he’s just going to take on fodder opposition, then he can forget about increasing his popularity in the U.S because the fight fans in American won’t be impressed with him fighting stiffs each time out.
“Then again I could go there and have one of those building fights that will showcase me to the American public before I get myself up to the big names like Wilder,” said Joshua. “It’s a good opportunity and it’s good that Showtime is on board, but I’ve got to win Saturday.”
It might be better if Joshua didn’t think so much about a fight against Deontay and instead thought more about his important title defense this Saturday night against the huge 6’7”, 255lb Breazeale. He’s too good of a fighter to be overlooked by Joshua, especially with the way he was almost knocked out in his fight against Dillian Whyte last December. Joshua needs to keep his eye on the ball and realize that it doesn’t matter how much dreaming he does about fighting Deontay, it can’t happen if Breazeale thrashes him this Saturday night at the O2 Arena.
Besides the Joshua vs. Breazeale fight being piped into the U.S for American audiences to see the contest, it will also be televised in the UK on Sky Box Office pay-per-view. I’m not sure that I agree that it’s a PPV worthy fight, but what can you do?
It’s Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn’s call to make it a PPV fight. I’m guessing that ALL of Joshua’s fights from now on will be on PPV, no matter who he fights. I guess that will only change after Joshua gets knocked out for the first time. At that point, it might be a tough ask for Eddie to try and peddle his fights on PPV.
“I definitely see the fight as a 50-50. You’ve got two big heavyweights, and the challenger wants what the champion has, and the champion wants to keep what he has,” said Deontay about the Joshua-Breazeale fight.
Deontay has seen enough of Breazeale and Joshua’s past fights to know that either of these two guys can win. Deontay notes that Joshua has beaten a lot of guys that have fallen over after he hit them a few times. Deontay sees Breazeale as someone that will keep getting up to fight hard and looking to take Joshua out with his own big shots.
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