Deontay Wilder and his team are looking at what may come next after the former WBC heavyweight champion gets through his October 15 comeback fight with Robert Helenius. Obviously, the Helenius fight has to be won before anything else can be looked at in too much depth, and Wilder and his team clearly feel he will do the business against his former sparring partner. Still, some people – Eddie Hearn for one – see Helenius as a dangerous comeback foe for Wilder, returning as he will be after that savage, damaging (possibly long-term) war with Tyson Fury.
Speaking with Talk Sport, Shelly Finkel said there are three names being looked at for Wilder’s next fight after Helenius – Oleksandr Usyk, Anthony Joshua, and Andy Ruiz. Like the rest of us, Finkel and Wilder are waiting to see if the big Fury-Joshua fight gets made or not. If it does, Wilder may target either Usyk or Ruiz. If Joshua does not fight Fury, Wilder may try, again, to make a deal for a fight with AJ.
“The other day we got a message that Usyk will fight us if Joshua goes the route of Fury, yeah, we’re open to that, we’re not opposed to that at all,” Finkel said. “If not, there’s Andy Ruiz Jr, there’s several other options. In my mind, until the Joshua [Versus] Fury thing came, I was thinking that after the Helenius fight we would be talking, Eddie and I, but things happen.”
A while back, Hearn said he reached out to Finkel, to try and present an offer to Wilder for a fight with Joshua. Finkel says he ignored the message due to the basic fact that the Helenius fight and Wilder winning it is all that matters right now. Finkel said that after the Helenius fight (a Wilder win permitting) he and Hearn will look to make a deal.
“It’s come out a few times by Eddie Hearn that I avoided him,” Finkel said. “That’s partially true, well it’s wholly true. We have a big fight coming up with Robert Helenius. Eddie e-mailed me, ‘Can we talk? I have some big [offer] for Deontay.’ Right now we have the Helenius fight, that’s all we need to concentrate on. Because if something went wrong there, nothing else would be. And if it goes right, it’ll all get worked out.”
Finkel went on to say that when the time comes (as in after Wilder has beaten Helenius, and hopefully looked good in doing so), “a deal will get done, or not” for a Joshua fight.
We have of course been there with a possible Wilder-Joshua fight before, with nothing getting done. Can Finkel and Hearn thrash out a deal this time? Or maybe Wilder will fight Usyk next, or Ruiz. Helenius will be spoiling some big plans if he upsets Wilder on October 15, that’s for sure.