By Sam Volz: Anthony Joshua says that a fight against former WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder is a “more realistic” one for him this year than a domestic scrap against Tyson Fury.
Besides fighting Wilder this year, Joshua (24-3, 22 KOs) is interested in facing unbeaten WBO interim champion Joe Joyce. That would be a big scrap that would resonate with boxing fans worldwide, especially in the UK, and it should be an easier fight for Joshua to make than dealing with the headache of trying to deal with Fury a second time.
Joshua already failed to negotiate a fight with Fury last December, so it makes sense to believe that it would be more of the same if he tried to revisit talks.
It’s pointless for Joshua to go through the hassle of trying to restart talks with Fury unless he’s willing to throw away three to six months and wind up with nothing to show for his troubles. Wilder (43-2-1, 42 KOs) is the easier fight to make.
“It seems like Deontay Wilder’s more realistic because I just think that the stuff that goes on with Fury is a bit crazy, man,” said Anthony Joshua to the Big Fight Weekend on potential fights for him after this Saturday’s comeback clash against Jermaine Franklin.
Wilder is coming off a spectacular first-round knockout victory over Robert Helenius last October, and he’s highly interested in fighting Joshua next.
The WBC has ordered Wilder to face Andy Ruiz Jr in a title eliminator, but that’s not a match-up that will make Deontay the kind of money that he would get fighting Joshua in Saudi Arabia. Wilder can greatly add to his reported net worth of $30 million by fighting Joshua in the Middle East.
“I’ve been in this situation for a long time. Even with them two, I’ve been in this same situation, but I just feel like Deontay’s coming to a stage in his career where he’s realistic.”
It’s still too early for Joshua to be talking about fighting Wilder and/or Joe Joyce, because he still needs to win this Saturday night against Jermaine Franklin (21-1, 14 KOs) in their headliner on DAZN at the O2 Arena in London.
If Joshua loses to Franklin, he undoubtedly will look to rematch him later this year. A second defeat against the American would surely signal the AJ’s career, as that would be four consecutive losses he would have suffered, and he’d become a sad-looking figure at that stage of his career. Fighting the likes of Wilder, Joyce, or Fury would be senseless.
Given Fury’s consecutive failures to negotiate important fights with Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk, this indicates that the only matches Tyson can make are against regular contenders with small fan bases and no bargaining power.
“There’s another fight that I’m looking at. Joe Joyce, as well,” said Joshua.
Fury can still make good money fighting the likes of Derek Chisora and Dillian Whyte, obviously, but his popularity will deteriorate if he’s unable to fight the famous guys like Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk.
Without going into specific details about why he sees WBC champion Fury (33-0-1, 24 KOs) as not a likely option for him, Joshua’s view of the ‘Gypsy King’ is probably clouded by his failure to negotiate the undisputed fight against IBF, WBA & WBO champ Oleksandr Usyk, which collapsed over what should have been a simple hurdle to overcome with the rematch clause.
Fury wanted not only a 70-30 split for the first Usyk fight on April 29th, but also a 50-50 split for the rematch if he were to lose the first contest.
The winner of the first fight would be given a 70-30 split, which would have potentially seen Fury get the same split. Not willing to risk being stuck with 30%, Fury reportedly refused, insisting instead on the 50-50 deal for himself in the rematch.