Anthony Joshua vs. Deontay Wilder possible next year says Hearn
By Allan Fox: Eddie Hearn says a fight between Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder is a possibility in 2022 if everything goes right. The two had hoped to fight in the past but it never came to be, but now it’s a match that Hearn would like to put together next year.
IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Joshua (24-1, 22 KOs) is still in negotiations with WBC champion Tyson Fury for a two-fight deal in 2021.
But once those two fights are out of the way, Joshua could turn his attention to the former WBC champion Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs), who hasn’t fought since losing to Fury last year in February.
In terms of money, Wilder is Joshua’s biggest payday available to him once he finishes with his two fights with Fury this year. If Joshua destroys Fury, as may believe he will, Wilder is the next biggest target out there for him in 2022.
The most lucrative fight out there for AJ in the heavyweight division, apart from Tyson Fury, is ‘The Bronze Bomber’ Wilder. But for the fight to the huge, the hard-hitting 6’7″ Wilder needs to return to the ring and pick up a scalp or two in 2021.
Hearn is offering Wilder a fight against Dillian ‘The Body Snatcher’ Whyte if he gets past Alexander Povetkin in their rematch next month on March 6th.
Assuming Whyte (27-2, 18 KOs) gets by Povetkin, a fight against Wilder would be the ideal match to help ‘The Bronze Bomber’ redeem himself enough to where a fight between him and Joshua will be huge next year.
“If it’s the right fight for AJ, not stylistically, but if it’s the right commercial fight,” said Hearn to Sky Sports about a fight between Joshua and Wilder in 2022.
“Listen, Deontay Wilder knows he turned down the deal of a lifetime to fight Anthony Joshua, but he made his bed and respect to him.”
Hearn needs to make sure that everything goes right for Joshua in his two fights against Fury before he can start talking about a fight against Wilder in 2022. If Joshua loses to Fury twice, there won’t be any market value in a match between AJ and Wilder next year.
The only fight the boxing world would want to see at that point is a trilogy between Joshua and Fury. That would effectively be the last chance saloon for Joshua, but he would have to take it if he wanted to salvage his career.
“For me, I would like to see Dillian Whyte fight Deontay Wilder, but he has to deal with Povetkin,” said Hearn.
Wilder has been cool to the idea of fighting Whyte for some reasons, possibly because Hearn set it up to where Deontay had to earn the fight against Joshua by going through him first.
You can argue that it was a mistake on Hearn’s part to insist on Wilder first proving himself against Whyte before he would let him face Joshua, especially given that he was a world champion.
At this point, it’s hard to predict who Wilder will face when he does return to the ring. His management will likely want to play it safe in his next fight due to the combination of his loss to Fury, bicep injury, and the long layoff from the ring.
Wilder needs a confidence booster in the worst way, and it’s not likely that his adviser will be agreeable to matching him against Whyte. That would be the ideal fight for Wilder to take, though, if he wanted to convince the boxing public that he’s still cogent and relevant.
Some of the accusations that Wilder had made towards Fury and his ex-trainer Mark Breland have many people thinking that he’s lost it upstairs. If Wilder can return to the ring and defeat Whyte, it will help build up the fight with Joshua into a huge affair.
It’s too bad Fury is no longer interested in fighting Wilder because a third fight between them would be a big one as well if ‘The Gypsy King’ defeats Joshua in their two fights this year.
Fury will need a big name after the smoke clears from the Joshua fights, and who better than Wilder for him to make the most money. Tyson needs to be mature about this and see that he’s only hurting himself if he chooses to hold a grudge and never fight Wilder again.
Fury will be letting Wilder live rent-free in his head if he chooses to remain bitter about the things he says. It’s far better to forget about it, let it go, and make money facing Deontay a third time.
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