Back in the oh, so talent-rich 1970s and the heavyweight division, one of the many great things about the weight class was the fact that even the ‘losers’ could bounce back from a defeat or two against the best of the best, and then fight each other in what was still a big fight as well as a great action fight. Ron Lyle and George Foreman, for example, both fell to the magic of Muhammad Ali, yet both big men came roaring back, they fought each other, and they gave the world one of the best heavyweight slugfests ever.
Could the same thing happen with Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder? There’s still a ways to go yet. Wilder may well tear up such a fanciful script by tearing up Tyson Fury on Saturday night, while AJ might make fools of us all as he makes a fool of Oleksandr Usyk in their planned rematch. But who knows? If Wilder and Joshua both come a cropper in their next fight – Wilder losing for a second time, Joshua for a third time – they would still have each other. And there’s no doubt about it: a Wilder-Joshua fight would be a massive attraction, and it would almost certainly result in a great action fight. Maybe not as epic as the multi-knockdown brawl Big George and the equally big Ron put on, but you get my point.
Even in a non-title clash, with five defeats between them, Joshua Vs. Wilder would be BIG. And it sure as hell would be exciting. It’s amazing, but looking back at the glory days of the ’70s (and perhaps, in fact certainly, it’s unfair to compare today’s big men of the sport with the smaller but far better masters we were all spoiled in getting to watch back in the 1970s), some of Ali’s vanquished challengers went on to put on more exciting fights than Ali did during that time period.
Might Fury and Usyk, if they’re both still the two rival world champions at the time, fight each other – and wind up giving us a veritable stinker of a fight, while Wilder and Joshua, having each moved on and re-found some hunger, get busy giving us a sizzling slugfest? It’s possible. As such, both AJ and “The Bronze Bomber” will have something to look forward to if they do both lose their upcoming fights.
Let’s face it, we’d all pay good money to see a Joshua-Wilder fight. Even all these years after these two should have got it on. And with two vulnerable fighters, each with nothing but dynamite in their hands, literally anything could happen. We would, though, see a knockout; and perhaps one or three knockdowns before the finishing blow landed. And it could be a genuinely great fight.