29 Nov The Road to Anthony Joshua vs. Deontay Wilder
Whenever the heavyweight division is mentioned, a potential super-fight between Anthony Joshua vs. Deontay Wilder comes to mind. Despite any boxing fan wanting this fight to occur in the immediate future, it is extremely unlikely. After knocking out the overweight and over-matched former WBC Heavyweight Champion Bermane Stiverne, Wilder called out Joshua and claimed that he is waging war against the British heavyweight superstar. Joshua followed Wilder’s statements by issuing a statement of his own on social media, saying that he is ready and waiting for an offer from Wilder’s management team. Eddie Hearn, group managing director of Matchroom Boxing, vows that the fight will come to fruition in 2018, but likely not in the first part of next year. With Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin likely happening in May, the much anticipated heavyweight fight would not get a sufficient amount of promotion. Since both fighters will not face each other next time they step into the ring, who will be their next opponent?
Wilder’s Next Fight – In the undercard for Wilder’s most recent title defense, Dominic “Trouble” Breazale fought Eric Molina in a WBC title elimination bout. Molina’s corner stopped the fight following the 8th round, and with the victory Breazale is now in position as an eventual mandatory challenger against Wilder. Breazale and Wilder clearly have animosity towards one another. Back in February at the hotel lobby of the Westin in Birmingam, Alabama, the two engaged in a melee that was widely reported throughout boxing media outlets. Both fighters clearly do not like each other, and the promotion for this fight would be quite hectic. Wilder does not need very much recovery time after his most recent 1st round KO victory, and the fight could occur early next year. Standing at 6’7’’, Breazale is taller than any opponent Wilder has faced. Most likely, the fight will not go the distance since both fighters are going to enter the ring with bad intentions. For the current WBC Heavyweight Champion, a win would line him up for the much anticipated fight versus Joshua. If Wilder loses, his hype train comes to a thudding halt.
Joshua’s Next Fight- The only major belt in the heavyweight division that is not held by Wilder or Joshua, is the WBO belt currently held by New Zealander Joseph Parker. Alexander Povetkin is likely to be the mandatory title challenger for Parker’s title, and he would be the favorite. Povetkin’s only loss is at the hands of future hall-of-famer Wladimir Klitschko, and he is far more experienced against top-notch competition that Parker. Despite being the heavy underdog, the WBO Heavyweight Champion would be paid handsomely to travel to the UK for a unification clash against Joshua. Parker is clearly the weakest link of the major belt-holders in the division, and such a fight would be the biggest pay day of his career. His stock would drop dramatically if he loses the belt to Povetkin, as his title is the main bargaining chip for a fight with Joshua. The best move for Parker’s career is to fight Joshua as soon as possible before he suffers a loss. Parker arguably lost to Andy Ruiz and Hughie Fury, and Povetkin is far superior to them. By attaining the WBO Heavyweight title, Joshua would set himself up for an undisputed heavyweight championship fight versus Wilder. A heavyweight won an undisputed championship fight since Lennox Lewis defeated Evander Holyfield in 1999.
Anthony Joshua vs. Deontay Wilder- Throughout 2018, Eddie Hearn will be under constant pressure from the boxing public to make the fight happen. Joshua is a far more notable celebrity than Wilder, and the fight will likely occur in the UK since it will do better business in that particular market. If one were to go around Time Square, asking if anyone knew who Deontay Wilder was, few would be aware of the American heavyweight champion. Yet, a victory against Joshua could immediately make Wilder an international celebrity. The fight will probably be at Wembley Stadium in the fall of 2018. Wembley Stadium is where Anthony Joshua vs Wladimir Kitschko occurred earlier this year. Fans are heavily anticipating this fight, and it won’t go the distance. Between the two, only one combined fight has gone the distance in their two respective careers. The fight will be explosive, and definitely one to remember for years to come.