Matchroom Boxing executive Frank Smith believes a fight between Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder, with or without titles, is a bigger fight contest than the undisputed clash between WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury and IBF/WBA/WBO champion Oleksandr Usyk.
Smith may be right, as Wilder & Joshua are both arguably more popular than Usyk (20-0, 13 KOs), and Fury’s popularity is concentrated mainly in the UK. Although he has some fans in the U.S, he hasn’t fought enough in the States to become a big star.
It’s a given that if Joshua (24-3, 22 KOs) chooses to face former WBC champion Wilder (42-2-1, 41 KOs) next, Saudi Arabia will likely step forward to host the fight and will pay a huge site fee.
In contrast, we haven’t heard anything about the Middle East wanting to host Fury vs. Usyk, which says a lot. It’s a far less compelling fight on paper due to the dull fighting styles of Fury & Usyk.
“He’s a two-weight champion of the world. You’ve seen the fighters he’s been in there against, and he’s always come under stick from people,” said Frank Smith to iFL TV about Anthony Joshua.
‘The Deontay Wilder fight. I’ve said it, and I’ll say it again, the Deontay Wilder fight against Anthony Joshua, with or without belts, is bigger than Usyk against Fury, in my opinion,” said Smith.
“Ultimately, that’s life; that’s the fans. You’re going to have people who love you; you’re going to have people who don’t think much of you. He’s done everything he needs to do in his career, and he can be very proud of the career that he’s created for himself.
“Fans can always have their opinions, but there can never be any question about where AJ stands in the sport and what he’s done to date, and he can still deliver as well.
“Yeah, 100%, he’s never shied away from a challenge,” said Smith when asked if Joshua would be interested in fighting Deontay Wilder.
“He went straight back in there after the Andy Ruiz loss and went straight back in there after the Usyk loss. Like I said, he looked much, much improved this time around in the Usyk fight.
“He’s still got so much left to give the sport. He’s 32 years old and still in prime physical condition. He looked in great shape in that fight and gave a great showing. of himself.