Deontay Wilder wants Joshua rather than Fury fight after Breazeale
By Chris Williams: Deontay Wilder has now decided that he wants to fight Anthony Joshua rather than a rematch with Tyson Fury after his next fight, which is expected to be against his WBC mandatory Dominic Breazeale. Speaking to Blue Blood Sports TV, Wilder (40-0-1, 39 KOs) said he sees the unification fight with IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Joshua (22-0, 21 KOs) as an easy one to make.
Wilder will have to swallow some of his pride, but he feels that’s easy fight for him to make against AJ. Wilder admits that he’ll have to give Joshua, 29, what he wants to get the fight made, but that’s a small price to pay to get the fight done, beat him, and then face him in a rematch. With Fury, Wilder would need to jump through hoops to get the fight, and even then, he would still need to fight him on ESPN. The things that Wilder would have to go endure to get a second fight with former IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Fury (27-0-1, 19 KOs) would be too much.
Wilder will be defending his World Boxing Council heavyweight title on May 18 on SHOWTIME World Championship Boxing, likely against former world title challenger Breazeale (20-1, 18 KOs).
As for Fury, Wilder trashed him, saying to Blue Blood Sports TV, “He had an opportunity to sign. We could’ve had this fight going with a 50/50 split and run it back, but somebody got scared. He’s supposed to be a Gypsy King? Nah, you ain’t no Gypsy King, he gotta change his name.”
Without the Wilder rematch taking place, Fury is going to cast adrift with few options for big fights. If Top Rank makes a deal with Matchroom Boxing to match Fury against Dillian Whyte, he’ll probably lose that fight, and/or look so bad in winning that his stock is going to drop off the side of a cliff. Fury is in a situation where he’s now lost the Wilder fight, and his future is now murky. What does Top Rank do with a big spoiler, who has a history of blowing up in weight in between fights by gorging on rich food. ESPN needs to make a move to push Top Rank to make the Wilder fight next on May 18 instead of this crazy idea of letting marinate, which has Deontay no longer interested in facing him.
Fury might not realize it but signing with Top Rank promoter Bob Arum, who likes to sometimes marinate big fights, might have hurt his chances of getting a rematch with Wilder. Fury was given a large contract with Top Rank to fight on ESPN. Whether Fury actually cares that he might not ever fight Wilder again is debatable. Top Rank is giving Fury a lot of money, and he can milk the contract if all they do is put him in with guys that have little talent, and that he can beat 100% each time out. Fury could enjoy the soft life by beating lesser heavyweights if that’s what Top Rank has in store for him, hoping that he can increase the subscribers to the the ESPN+ app. This experiment by Top Rank in signing a foreign heavyweight with a reputation for spoiling and being involved in boring fights, could blow up in their faces if the Americans have no interest in seeing seeing Fury fight, and have even less interest in paying to see him on ESPN+ or pay-per-view.
To build Fury up to become someone that the U.S boxing fans would want to pay to see, Top Rank would need to match him against A-level heavyweights. Since it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen, it’s going to cripple their efforts into turning Fury into a star in the U.S. Secondly, Fury’s fighting style needs a big remake. He’s an ugly spoiler, who makes his fights virtually unwatchable with his running, holding and slapping at his opponents. Fury isn’t the second coming of Mike Tyson or George Foreman. He fights more like a bigger version of the late Jimmy Young. Building Fury into a star by putting him in against poor opposition is a recipe for failure on Top Rank’s part.
It just makes it hard to understand whose idea it was for the company to sign Fury. It would have made sense for Top Rank to sign Wilder, as long as they were willing to put him with good opposition, but definitely not Fury. He doesn’t posses the fighting style that American boxing fans like to see from guys on television. For any fan that remembers how bad Fury looked in spoiling his way to an ugly win over Wladimir Klitschko in 2015, they’re probably shaking their heads right now, wondering what Top Rank was thinking in signing him instead of a more exciting heavyweight. Signing Fury for one or two fights makes sense if the idea was to put him immediately in with Wilder or Anthony Joshua. But to sign him for big money and then match him against substandard heavyweights in hopes of making him a star in the U.S, it’s a wrong-headed idea doomed for utter failure.
Without a rematch with Wilder and a fight with Joshua, who is with Matchroom Boxing on DAZN, Fury will likely languish with Top Rank, fighting guys signed with their promotional company like Bryant Jennings.
What we don’t know is if Joshua and his promoter Eddie Hearn are seriously interested in making the fight with Wilder. If Wilder agrees to the 60/40 split that Hearn floated recently for him to get the Joshua fight, it might not help get the match made if Eddie was never serious in the first place in making the fight. If Joshua and Hearn have been merely grandstanding all this time in talking up the Wilder fight, but without having true interest in making it happen, then it won’t matter what Deontay agrees to. They still won’t make the fight. In that case, Wilder would have to look in another direction towards Dillian Whyte. That wouldn’t be an easy fight to make either, because he’s connected with Hearn, and he might ask for too much money.