Joshua says he’ll beat Deontay Wilder
By Scott Gilfoid: According to promoter Eddie Hearn, Anthony Joshua believes he’s got too much size for WBC heavyweight champion Deontay “Bronze Bomber” Wilder, and he’s not worried about him following his devastating 1st round knockout victory over former champion Bermane Stiverne last Saturday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Wilder called out Joshua inside the ring immediately after smashing Stiverne to pieces in a 1st round knockout.
“I’ve been waiting on that fight for a long time now,” said Wilder about Joshua. “I declare war upon you. Do you accept my challenge? I’ve been waiting for a long time. I know I’m the champion. I know I’m the best. Are you up for the test? A king doesn’t chase the peasants. A king takes kings. I want Joshua. If he doesn’t give me the fight we have other plans. The world wants Joshua, the world wants Wilder, I want Joshua. Joshua come and see me baby. No more dodging, no more excuses. Make the date, don’t wait.”
The bit about Wilder not wanting to fight peasants is a shot at Eddie Hearn, who keeps trying to push Dillian Whyte off on him to get him to beat him before he’ll agree to give him the Joshua fight. It’s a weak move on Hearn’s part, but it shows his desperation. The boxing public wants to see Joshua fight Wilder now. They’re not interested in seeing Wilder face Whyte.
Joshua (20-0, 20 KOs) and Wilder (39-0, 38 KOs) are expected to fight each other in 2018, as long as they continue to win until then.
Hearn says Joshua was curious about Wilder’s weight for the Stiverne rematch. But after learning that Wilder weighed in at 220 pounds last Friday, Joshua told Hearn, “I’ll eat him,” according to skysports.com. Joshua weighed in for his title defense against Carlos Takam last week at 254 pounds. If that weight stays the same, Joshua would have 34 lb. weight advantage over the 220 lb. Wilder if they fought. It’s interesting to note though that Stiverne weighed 254 lbs. against Wilder, and I didn’t help him at all. In fact, the weight seemed to hurt Stiverne.
“I was really interested to see the weight of Deontay Wilder on the scales, 15st 9. I texted that to Anthony today, Deontay Wilder, 15st 9,” said Hearn to skysports.com. “I shouldn’t really tell you the reply, but it was ‘I’ll eat him,’ and the size difference is huge. It’s two-and-a-half stone now between those two.”
This is heavyweight boxing, not body building. Wilder doesn’t need to weigh in the 250s for him to have a chance at knocking out Joshua. Just being incredibly tall at 6’7” is more than enough for Wilder to have a good chance of knocking out Joshua. Having all that leverage to throw power shots makes Wilder are much dangerous threat than a shorter, burly fighter with 250 lbs. of muscle. Hearn and Joshua seem to be confusing weight with power.
In a lot of cases, it’s not the weight of a fighter that determines power. It’s the height and wingspan. The lanky 6’1” Thomas “Hitman” Hearns didn’t look nearly as powerful as many of his opponents during his career, but he still packed more power than them due to the leverage in his frame. Wilder is seen by some in boxing as the heavyweight division’s version of Tommy Hearns.
Joshua doesn’t seem to be a better fighter now at 254 lbs. than he was when he was fighting in the 2012 Olympics at 225 lbs. Joshua’s power doesn’t look better now than it was when he was fighting in 2012 at a lighter weight. Joshua just looks more like a body builder now, and he’s clearly a lot slower than he was 5 years ago. Takam was hitting Joshua with lead right hands all night long in their fight on October 28 in Cardiff, Wales. If the short, 6’1 ½” Takam was able to hit Joshua with right hands, then it’s quite possible that the 6’7” Wilder will be able to do the same thing. Joshua’s punch resistance does not look any better than Stiverne’s. Before Stiverne fought Wilder, he was noted for having superb chin. It took a monstrous puncher like Wilder to put a dent in it.
Hearn says Joshua will be fighting Wilder in 2018, and yet he still wants the Bronze Bomber to face Dillian Whyte before he’ll make that fight. You can read that any way you want to. Wilder feels that Hearn is hoping that Whyte will beat him so he can remove a major threat to Joshua. If Whyte beats Wilder, then Hearn doesn’t need to risk putting Joshua in with the Bronze Bomber.
It’s a clever move on Hearn’s part to try and persuade Wilder to fight Whyte, but it also shows his insecurity about Joshua’s talent. Hearn didn’t ask Joshua’s recent opponents Eric Molina, Takam and Dominic Breazeale to face Whyte in order to earn a fight with AJ. They were allowed to fight Joshua without needing to go through Whyte. It’s only Wilder that Hearn is asking to first prove that he can beat Whyte before he can get the unification fight against Joshua.