Anthony Joshua on fighting Deontay Wilder in December: “It’s been a long time coming”
By Jack Tiernan: Anthony Joshua has confirmed that he could be facing Deontay Wilder in December in Saudi Arabia as part of a two-heavyweight mega-card
Joshua (25-3, 22 KOs) sounds excited about finally getting the opportunity to meet up with Wilder (43-2-1, 42 KOs) after many years.
The two have been discussing fighting since 2015, and it looks like they could meet in a clash that fans will be excited to see. Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn will be going to Saudi Arabia next week to begin discussions for Joshua’s in December.
In the meantime, Hearn is keenly interested in matching Joshua against Dillian Whyte in July. That’s a fight that is struck in Hearn’s craw, and he can’t let go of it, despite 35-year-old Whyte looking worse than horrible in his last two fights.
If that fight comes off, it’ll give Joshua more time to work with his new trainer Derrick James to make tweaks in his game before he faces the knockout artist Wilder in December. Of course, there would be risk involved with Joshua fighting Whyte in July.
Although Whyte’s punch resistance is gone, he still has enough power to KO Joshua if he lands one of his left hooks on the button. It’s a foolish fight for Joshua, but Hearn is willing to take that risk, and he could be kicking himself afterward if things go wrong.
The Saudi rep said this week that they wouldn’t be interested in using Joshua in a December card if he’s coming off a loss.
Regarding worldwide interest, Joshua vs. Wilder is a bigger fight than AJ vs. Tyson Fury. Wilder is arguably the far more exciting fighter than Fury (33-0-1, 24 KOs), who has an ugly Greco-Roman wrestling/boxing style of fighting, which is hard on the eyes of fans that like to see knockout punches thrown.
“In December, potentially, there is a big fight that should be cracking with me and Wilder. It has been a long time coming. There are a lot of moving shapes at the minute, so one step at a time. But it has been a long time coming, for sure,” said Anthony Joshua to Yahoo Sports News.
“From our side, Anthony Joshua is ready to sign to fight Deontay Wilder or Tyson Fury, subject to contract, which has never been a problem for us in Saudi because we’ve always found a deal.”
“AJ wants to fight in the summer, and we want him to fight. At the same time, he’s being spoken to about potential fights against Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury, where maybe the people involved with those fights don’t want him to have another fight and contractually, he might not be able to,” said Eddie Hearn to Boxing King Media about Joshua possibly taking a tune-up in July before his December fight.
“There have been no negotiations at all about this fight, but I’m flying out there next week because there have been some discussions,” said Hearn about traveling to Saudi Arabia next week to begin talks for Joshua’s fight in December.
“July, I can’t tell you about. I want him to fight. Derrick James wants him to fight. I believe all those other fighters [Oleksandr Usyk, Wilder & Fury] will fight in the interim, so I think it would be good if AJ did too,’ s aid Hearn.
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