According to Anthony Joshua, the world will soon see the guaranteed heavyweight explosion that is the much talked about Joshua and Deontay Wider showdown. AJ was a guest on TV chat Show ‘The Graham Norton Show’ last night and he said that after the imminent Joseph Parker fight, he will indeed face Wilder next, in Las Vegas.
This of course does not mean the fight will absolutely, certainly happen, but all signs are good that it will. Both men have called for it, want it – and need it. Look at the current heavyweight ratings, and most lists have AJ at number-one and “The Bronze Bomber” at number-two. Some fans might have it the other way around, but the point is, these two undefeated power-punchers are the best of the best in the glamour division today. As such, they no doubt have to fight. And, assuming they both come through their next fight okay and remain unbeaten, chances are good they will.
WBC king Wilder faces an on-paper-tough-test in the form of Luis Ortiz in his next fight, while WBA/IBF ruler Joshua will fight Parker in his next outing. Both men should win – Wilder because he is much younger and far more dynamic and explosive than Ortiz who, let’s face it, is extremely lucky to be getting the shot, what with him ruining his own opportunity last November when he failed a drugs test (his second failed test). Joshua, on paper, should beat Parker, even if it could prove a tough and long night. And then, if we’re lucky, the two juggernauts will crash right into one another later this year. It doesn’t really matter where, but Las Vegas seems to be a fitting venue for the fight.
It’s easy to get carried away over how exciting, how brutal, how thrilling this fight cannot fail to be – but will it bring back the absolute magic the heavyweight division once carried?
Here’s a look back at the five most recent, truly great world heavyweight title fights; fights that Wilder-Joshua will be measured against:
Anthony Joshua-Wladimir Klitschko, 2017.
Can Joshua top his own, it-brought-the-glory-back-to-the-division fight he was a part of this April? Josua’s coming of age, up from the floor stoppage of former champ Klitschko stirred many emotions. What might Joshua Vs. Wilder do?
Lennox Lewis-Vitali Klitschko, 2003.
We have to go back almost 15 years for the last great, or near great, world heavyweight title fight before AJ-Wlad. But what a war this slugfest was. There were bombs, there were switching momentums, but most of all there was blood – and a whole lot of it. This fight had everything but a satisfying ending, thanks to the simply horrific facial injuries the elder Klitschko brother suffered. How much blood and guts will we witness when Joshua and Wilder rumble?
Evander Holyfield-Mike Tyson (fight-one), 1996.
A tremendous fight, a tremendous event and occasion, and an absolutely flabbergasting upset. Whoever wins between AJ and Wilder, it will not be viewed as an upset, but if the two primed and peaking punchers put on a fight half as dramatic, as memorable as the one these two veterans gave us over twenty years ago, we will be ecstatic enough.
Riddick Bowe-Evander Holyfield (fight-one), 1992.
Arguably the greatest world heavyweight title fight this side of the unequalled Thrilla in Manila between Ali and Frazier. If the lethal combination of Wilder and Joshua can possibly give as an utterly mesmerising 36-minutes of quality action the way this classic did, people everywhere will be screaming how the heavyweight division is indeed alive and well in one colossal way.
Buster Douglas-Mike Tyson, 1990.
Again, whoever wins out of Wilder and Joshua, it will not be seen as an upset. Still, if the two modern day kings can provide us with as exciting, as dramatic and as fast-paced a heavyweight battle as the one we all watched in Tokyo, then both men will cover themselves, and their weight class, in glory.