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Anthony Joshua asking for trouble against Deontay Wilder says Tony Bellew

Image: Anthony Joshua asking for trouble against Deontay Wilder says Tony Bellew

By Charles Brun: Carl Froch believes Anthony Joshua could be up the creek without a paddle if he chooses to face the still dangerous Deontay Wilder for his interim fight while he waits for his rematch with Oleksandr Usyk.

Of the handful of heavyweights on Joshua’s wish-list for his interim fight, Deontay is the most dangerous due to his one-punch power. The shots that Wilder bounced off Tyson Fury’s chin in their recent fight last October would likely KO Joshua many times over.

According to promoter Eddie Hearn, Joshua (24-2, 22 KOs) has former WBC heavyweight champion Wilder (42-2-1, 41 KOs) at the top of his list of fighters that he’s interested in facing in his interim match in May or June.

With Usyk’s status uncertain for this year due to his combat duty in Ukraine in defending his homeland against the Russian invasion, Joshua must look in another direction for a fight.

Rather than take a soft opponent from the bottom ranks of the heavyweight division to stay busy while waiting for Usyk, Joshua wants to fight one of the top guys.

Even if Joshua wasn’t waiting for a rematch with Usyk, it’s a foolhardy move for him to face the dangerous knockout artist Deontay in his first fight after his humiliating defeat last September.

Joshua shell-shocked?

Some boxing fans believe that Joshua is the equivalent of a shell-shocked war veteran from his knockout loss to Andy Ruiz Jr. in June 2019, and he hasn’t looked the same since in his three fights.

The way that Joshua has looked incredibly timid and overly cautious in his three fights since his stoppage loss to Ruiz, suggests that he’s still haunted by the loss, and can’t shake the terrible memory from what happened to him on the night in June 2019 in New York.

Joshua has looked frightened in his subsequent fights against Ruiz in December 2019, 40-year-old Kubrat Pulev in 2020, and Usyk last September.

At this point, it’s highly unlikely we’ll ever see the fearless, all-action Joshua that we knew before. That Joshua is probably gone forever and replaced by the timid, overly cautious fighter we’ve seen in his three fights since his defeat at the hands of Ruiz.

Wilder is still in holding pattern with his career, thinking it over on whether to continue fighting after his back-to-back knockout losses to Tyson Fury.

The fabulously rich ‘Bronze Bomber’ Wilder doesn’t need the money, so it’s less of an enticement for him to be lured with the potential of making $10 million+ for a mega-clash against Joshua.

While Hearn says he would prefer the recently beaten Joshua, 32, to take a more traditional option for his interim fight, he’s made it clear to him that he wants to face a live dog.

If Hearn can’t persuade Deontay to take the fight with AJ, Joe Joyce, Otto Wallin, and Joseph Parker are other potential options for former IBF/WBA/WBO champion Joshua to fight.

Froch warns Joshua

DON’T fight Deontay Wilder because you’re probably going to get chinned. He’s a massive puncher,” said Carl Froch to Intu Boxing about the dangers that Joshua would be dealing with against Deontay Wilder. “There’s a chance you’ll get chinned.

Image: Anthony Joshua asking for trouble against Deontay Wilder says Tony Bellew

“If you catch one on the chin, you’re going over,” Froch said about what could happen to Joshua if he gets nailed by one of Deontay’s right hands.

“I don’t care if your name is Anthony Joshua or whatever your name is in the heavyweight division.

“He can knock you out with one punch. Tyson Fury nearly found that out a couple of times. So, yeah, I understand why Eddie Hearn said it’s a dangerous fight,” said Froch.

Unless Joshua really doesn’t care if he loses, it’s a silly move for him to be taking by fighting Deontay.

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