Joshua on Wilder Fight: “Fans Want to See It… Not Completely Written Off”

By Daniel Mcglinchey - 02/28/2024 - Comments

Anthony Joshua believes a mega-fight against former heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder is still possible despite his recent poor showing last December. Joshua (27-3, 24 KOs) notes that fans are still interested in that fight between him and Wilder (43-3-1, 42 KOs), so he’s not going to close that door completely.

Wilder’s Tarnished Image

Without Deontay redeeming himself against a notable top-five-level contender first, a fight between him and Joshua would seem to be dead in the water.

Trying to peddle a fight between AJ and the 38-year-old Wilder now would be futile for promoter Eddie Hearn, as not even he could sell that dud to the boxing public.

To distance himself from criticism, Joshua blames Wilder for their fight not happening many years ago, telling Sky Sports News, “Everything was signed and sealed; it just needed both of us to deliver. And he didn’t meet his end of the bargain.”

This comment by Joshua, although a deflection of blame, seems to give hope that a fight between him and Deontay can still happen if the financial terms can be agreed on.

Fan Demand as Leverage

AJ understands the fans still want to see a fight between him and Wilder after all these years. “It’s a fight that fans want to see,” Joshua says.

The fan interest makes the Joshua-Wilder clash a viable one, especially if both former champions can still retain their popularity in the boxing world.

In Wilder’s case, his acclaim has dropped off due to his inactivity, lack of quality wins, and three defeats. If Wilder can redeem himself by beating a high-level fighter, that would help spark interest in a fight between him and Joshua.

Another path to the Joshua fight for Wilder would be for him to fight frequently, three to four times this year, and for fans to get used to seeing him in action.

Unfortunately, that’s impossible, given that Deontay is with PBC, and they likely won’t have enough dates to keep him busy. It’s questionable whether Wilder will get a chance to fight at all in 2024 with the way things are looking.

If Wilder jumps ship, leaving PBC, he could theoretically improve his situation by signing a short-term contract with Top Rank, Golden Boy, or Matchroom. But if Wilder doesn’t want to fight often due to a lack of ambition, he’ll be just as inactive with them as with PBC.