Wilder: Joshua fight is getting closer
Juan Flores: Deontay “Bronze Bomber” Wilder (39-0, 38 KOs) says the unification fight against Anthony Joshua (20-0, 20 KOs) is getting close to being realized for next year. Wilder says there would be a 2-fight deal with him fighting in the UK for one of the fights and in the U.S for the other.
There would be a “warm-up” fight for both fighters in which they would be fighting on the same card. After that, then they would face each other in their next fight.
Wilder would have his WBC heavyweight title on the line against Joshua, and the British would put his IBF/WBA straps up for grabs. Wilder says he wants Joshua and his promoter to stop being so afraid, and go ahead and agree to the fight.
“It’s definitely getting closer,” said Wilder to TMZ in talking about the Joshua fight. “My people have met their people. It’s getting closer, but I don’t think they’re going to jump right away inside to this fight. I think they’re going to have a warm up fight due to the fact his performance was okay, and mine [outstanding]. You can play around with it a lot of different ways. What I mean by play around with it, for instance, this could be a 2-fight deal. There could be one fight in America and one fight in the UK. We could have a fight where he has a warm-up fight, and I have one as well. If they take that approach, we could fight on the same night,” said Wilder.
Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn wants Wilder to fight one of his fighters in his Matchroom Sport stable in Dillian Whyte next. That does not look like it’s going to happen. Wilder will need to fight someone good enough to help build up the Joshua fight. It won’t work out well if someone in Bermane Stiverne’s class is trotted out for Wilder to destroy in his warm-up fight.
It’s unknown who the two fighters would face for their warm-up fights. Joshua’s promoter Edie Hearn is trying to setup a unification fight against WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker for early 2018. but that’s hardly a warm-up fight. Parker can punch, and he would be a real threat to beating Joshua if he lands one of his big shots.
Parker isn’t the typical Joshua opponent. He can fight, and he wouldn’t be an easy out. If Hearn is going to set-up a warm-up fight for Joshua to take in early 2018, then it’s going to need to be someone harmless and not a threat to beating him. Besides, Hearn isn’t having a lot of luck in the negotiations judging by the way Parker and his promoter David Higgins are both talking. They want a 60-40 deal, and it’s unknown if Hearn will agree to that percentage split. Joshua is so used to taking the lion’s share of the revenue against guys that aren’t champions, and who doesn’t possess the popularity to get a bigger cut of the money. If Hearn can’t put together a deal for the Joshua-Parker fight, then he would have no other choice but to take a warm-up fight.
”I am willing to go anywhere and everywhere,” said Wilder. ”To be honest, he’s just occupying that slot until I get [to him]. He’s keeping that belt warm just like Stiverne kept Sofia warm. That’s the name I chose to give her. Sofia needs a sister,” said Wilder.
It’s good that Wilder is confident, because it might help him unnerve Joshua. The British fighter doesn’t seem as confident as he usually is. Wilder’s impressive performances in his last couple of fights might have made Joshua a little nervous about the fight. If Wilder knocks Joshua out the way that he did Bermane Stiverne recently, it could halt the gravy train with all the money that he’s bringing in for his fights in the UK.
Joshua is banking huge amounts of money for his mismatches against weak opposition like Carlos Takam, Eric Molina and Dominic Breazeale. Losing to Wilder could slow down the amount of money that Joshua brings in for his fights. I don’t know if it would stop the gravy train, but it might slow it down considerably to the point where Joshua would need to avenge the loss to Wilder for him to return to pulling in the cash.
In theory, a 2-fight deal could wreck Joshua’s career entirely if he’s knocked out in both fights. Getting knocked out in the first fight would be bad, but not the end of the world. But a second knockout loss, like the one we saw with Stiverne getting flatted in the 1st round, would put Joshua’s career in flat line.
:This is an exciting time for boxing. I can’t wait,” said Wilder. ”This is definitely going to bring the heavyweight division back to the top. We just need them to stop being scared and agree to the fight,” said Wilder about Joshua and his promoter Eddie Hearn.
Hearn doesn’t want his cash cow Joshua to suffer a defeat at the hands of Wilder, because he’s the only money guy in his Matchroom Sport stable. While Hearn has tons of top fighters from the UK signed to his promotional company, none of them are pay-per-view attractions, and there’s nobody on the horizon that will be able to make that leap to be a fighter that the British boxing fans would pay to see. Guys like Ryan Burnett, Daniel Jacobs and Conor Benn are good fighters, but none of them are going to become a PPV fighter anytime soon. Jacobs can tag along on PPV if he fights a guy like Gennady Golovkin or Saul Canelo Alvarez, but he’s not going to be a replacement Joshua.
Wilder, 32, has a lot to lose as well. If he gets beaten in back to back fights by Joshua, he’ll no longer be a world champion. Wilder will just be back in the contender status, trying to somehow improve his game enough for him to beat Joshua in a third fight if he can ever get another chance. Wilder likely has enough talent to work his way to a third fight with Joshua if he loses both fights in their 2-fight deal they’re talking about.