Deontay Wilder won’t be fighting for undisputed championship in early 2022

By Boxing News - 09/29/2021 - Comments

By Chris Williams: Deontay Wilder’s co-manager Shelly Finkel says ‘The Bronze Bomber’ won’t be fighting for the undisputed heavyweight championship in early 2022 should he defeat WBC champion Tyson Fury in their trilogy match on October 9th.

Finkel states that with Anthony Joshua looking to reclaim his IBF, WBA & WBO belts from champion Oleksandr Usyk in early 2022, making it impossible for Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs) to fight for the undisputed championship.

Although he hasn’t done it yet, Joshua (24-2, 22 KOs) will be activating his rematch clause to force a second fight against Usyk (19-0, 13 KOs) after losing to him by a 12 round unanimous decision last Saturday night in North London, England.

Finkel isn’t saying who Wilder will fight in the first quarter of 2022 while he waits for the outcome of the Usyk vs. Joshua II fight, but he’ll likely be required to defend against his WBC mandatory Dillian Whyte.

The World Boxing Council will order the Wilder vs. Whyte fight soon after the outcome of the Fury-Wilder III clash on October 9th.

Image: Deontay Wilder won't be fighting for undisputed championship in early 2022

Usyk vs. Joshua II needs to play out

No, because he has unfinished business, Joshua, and that will take him into next year,” Wilder’s manager Finkel said to Boxing Social. “The fight is not going to happen before that, and we’re only fighting a week after.

“I don’t want to get ahead of myself. Let Deontay win, as I believe he will, and then we will see what we’re looking at in the first quarter to half of 2022. But at this moment, it won’t be Joshua or Usyk because they’re going to be dancing with each other,” said Finkel.

Wilder is considered the underdog for the Fury fight, but that doesn’t mean as much as it would have a year ago. Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) has been inactive; he’s gained weight, lost muscle, and had a hard time in training camp with his young sparring partners.

In the meantime, Wilder has stayed in shape, worked hard with his trainers Malik Scott and Don House, and reinvented himself with a new fighting style.

Instead of being a stationary one-punch at a time headhunter, Wilder has transformed himself into a mobile combination puncher, who now throws body shots with mean intentions.

We’ve never seen Fury take body shots during his career, and it could be interesting to see how he holds up to having his midsection targeted by Wilder. Most fighters that are good at avoiding headshots are helpless to evade getting hit to the body. Can Fury take it to the body from Wilder without collapsing on the canvas in agony?

Finkel says Joshua must use his size

“It depends on Joshua because you know Usyk is going to outbox him. It depends on what changes Joshua makes to move forward,” said Finkel when asked if Joshua will be able to avenge his loss to Oleksandr.

“There was a bit of chaos in the ring, and in the twelfth round, if there had been another 10 to 20 seconds, he [Joshua] would have been stopped,” said Finkel.

“At the end of the round, Joshua gave him a smile, and I interpreted it to mean, ‘There, I didn’t get knocked out.’ Again, Usyk beat him.

“He was a very impressive fighter. He got hit, and he got in the mix. He didn’t run,” Finkel said of Usyk. “I thought going in the size of Joshua would overcome that, and I believe that’s the key for him to win the next fight.”

Joshua’s size would work for him if Usyk stood perfectly still like most of AJ’s past opponents have done. Usyk took away Joshua’s size advantage by moving on constantly, which left him helpless. Joshua was like a big, slow tank facing a guy that had too much speed for him to get his shots off.

That’s probably not going to change for Joshua unless he trims down to the 220s and works on his movement.