Ellerbe: Joshua vs. Wilder ain’t happening no time soon
By Dan Ambrose: Promoter Leonard Ellberbe has serious doubts whether IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua will be fighting WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder anytime soon following his win over WBO champion Joseph Parker on Saturday night at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales.
(Photo credit: Esther Lin/SHOWTIME)
Ellberbe doesn’t explain why he doesn’t think Joshua will be fighting Wilder, but the general belief from the boxing world is he and his promoter Eddie Hearn don’t fancy that fight. Joshua has shown no desire to get inside the ring with Wilder ever since he began calling him out two years ago, and his Hearn has been pushing hard for Wilder to fight other guys instead of AJ. It looks peculiar the way Hearn keeps banging the drum for Wilder to fight Dillian Whyte.
Normally when a promoter wants his fighter to face another big name, they’re not asking that fighter to go face someone else first. When you get a promoter that does what Hearn is trying to get Wilder to do in asking him to face Whyte, it’s a signal that they don’t want that fight.
”Well, we do know that AJ vs. Wilder ain’t happening NO time soon!!!” Ellberbe said on his Twitter tonight.
Joshua did a lot of talking before the fight with Parker, saying he was going to knock him out, and make it look easy. What we saw instead if Joshua imitating Wladimir Klitschko the entire fight, jabbing and boxing Parker. It was a safety-first type fight for Joshua, and Parker didn’t do anything to distinguish himself either.
Joshua landed 139 of 383 shots for a connect percentage of 36, according to CompuBox’s stats. Parker connected on 101 of 492 punches for a 21 percent connect rate.
Joshua won the fight, but the scores were way too lopsided for the match that took place tonight. The judges scored it 118-110, 118-110 and 119-109. The last score means that judge scored it 11 rounds to 1 in Joshua’s favor. You’ve got to be kidding me. Parker won a lot more 1 round in the fight. That score is absurd. The other two scores were awful as well. Those judges scored it 10 rounds to 2 each.
I think Joshua and Hearn want Wilder to eventually come over to the UK one of these days to fight him, but when you see scores like this, it’s got to be something that makes him more than a little apprehensive about taking that trip. If these are the kinds of scores Wilder must look forward to in facing Joshua, then it’s not worth it for him to come to the UK. With those scorecards, Wilder would have to knock Joshua out for him to get a win. You don’t beat a guy like Joshua with the judges giving him almost every round like we saw tonight.
Wilder chose not to make the trip to the UK tonight to see the Joshua-Parker fight, because he says he was told not to enter the ring, and he heard that Joshua had put out a restraining order to keep him away from him. Hearn wanted Wilder to come to the fight, but clearly not for the reasons to hype a fight against Joshua. It’s believed that Hearn had other ideas of trying to setup a Wilder vs. Dillian Whyte. That’s the fight that Hearn has interested in making since last year.
If Hearn and Joshua are serious about wanting Wilder to come to the UK to fight there, they need to give him a big purse split to make it worthwhile in case he must deal with the kind of scoring from the judges that we saw in the Parker fight tonight. Also, if the referee is going to be like the one that worked the Joshua-Parker fight, then Hearn might need to give Wilder a split that is closer to the 50-50 split that he’s been asking for. With the way the referee kept pulling him off Joshua, and how the judges scored the fight, Parker had no chance of winning tonight.
Wilder isn’t going to want to be put in a similar circumstance. The referee let Joshua get away with a punch on the break in the 6th without penalizing him. It was a big uppercut that grazed the face of Parker, and he looked really upset and Joshua merely smiled. If Joshua is going to do stuff like punching on the break like that against Wilder, then he needs a bigger cut of the revenue to make it worthwhile for him. The thing is Joshua said before the fight tonight that he had some tricks up his sleeves that he was going to use on Parker. One would hope that Joshua wasn’t talking about him throwing a sucker punch on the break.
“My strategy in there was stick behind the jab,” Joshua said. “It’s one of the most important weapons. The old saying is the right hand can take you around the block, but a good jab will take you around the world, and that secured another world championship belt. I was switched on. I was focused and 12 rounds baby. I thought it was hard. Light work. Sometimes this does become a boxing match, not a fight,” Joshua said.
Joshua didn’t look very fast tonight against Parker. His hand speed was slow, and he looked robotic most of the night. This was Joshua’s third straight performance in which he didn’t look at all good. When Joshua fought a past his best 41-year-old Wladimir Klitschko, his boxing fans said he didn’t look good because the Ukrainian still had a lot left in the tank. Joshua was given a pass by the boxing public for that off performance. But then in his next fight, Joshua struggled to defeat Carlos Takam last October in Cardiff. Joshua got the win in stopping Takam in the 10th, but he still looked bad. Now we have Joshua looking poor against Parker, and getting crazy lopsided scores from the 3 judges, and a referee that is stopping Parker from fighting on the inside.
Hearn needs to forget about letting the Joshua vs. Wilder fight marinate, if that’s what he’s doing, because there’s too much risk involved in him taking that tactic to build the fight. Personally, I don’t think Hearn is letting the Joshua-Wilder fight marinate. I think he just doesn’t want the fight because of the risk of Joshua getting knocked cold by Wilder, and having his career put in a bad way. Wilde could ruin Joshua’s punch resistance.
If Wilder knocks Joshua out badly enough, he could finish his career. Look at some of the guys Wilder has knocked out. They haven’t done anything after being knocked out by him. If that happens to Joshua, then Hearn loses out on a lot of big money fights in the future against soft opposition that he can easily beat with his size advantage. That’s really the main thing Joshua has going for him. It’s his size. If you take away Joshua’s height and reach, you’ve got a beatable guy that would have problems against the likes of Dillian Whyte, Luis Ortiz, and Alexander Povetkin.
After the fight tonight, Hearn was in fine form, blaming Wilder for the Joshua fight not taking place. Hearn looked so disingenuous the way he was talking. In listening to Hearn talk, I got the feeling that we’re not going to see Joshua fight Wilder until 2020, and maybe not even then.