Like so many of the big names of the sport, former WBC heavyweight king Deontay Wilder fought just once this year; this a chilling one-punch, first-round icing of Robert Helenius. Wilder might not have too long left in the ring before he hangs up his gloves (Wilder is 37 years of age and he has said numerous times how he will call it quits at age 40), but the one fight out there that Wilder, or at least his trainer, really wants, is that guaranteed explosion of a battle with fellow former champ Anthony Joshua.
This fight really does top many a fight fans’ Dream Fight list, as it has done for some time. Will we finally get to see Wilder and Joshua exchange bombs in 2023? The clock is ticking, as Wilder’s trainer Malik Scott was at pains to point out when speaking with Kate Abdo on The Good Fight podcast.
Scott says Wilder will begin training camp in January, with Scott saying he would like to see “The Bronze Bomber” back in action in the ring in March. And Scott says his preferred choice of opponent is AJ.
“I hope to see him back in the ring by March and back in training in January,” Scott said of Wilder. “Negotiations are going on at the moment with a few guys. If it was up to me, Deontay would fight Anthony Joshua next. I wanted Usyk or AJ but he (Usyk) has now basically declined and he has major plans for Tyson Fury. AJ is available but is he mentally available? Is he willing to fight Deontay right now? The fight was supposed to already have happened. He (AJ) is a big-time boxer and he is only getting older. Let’s get these big fights made.”
Indeed. But Joshua, who seems set to take the “safer” route of having one, maybe two “easy” comeback fights next year instead of rolling the dice against Wilder – and that’s what this heavyweight explosion of a fight would be, with whoever landed a bomb first very likely getting the win – really would shock us if he did sign for a shoot-out with Wilder in his very next fight. It seems we will have to wait until at least the second half of 2023 before we get to see this fight. If it even happens then. If, many years from now, Wilder and Joshua have both retired from boxing not having faced one another, who will be the guy who gets the blame? Does Wilder, 43-2-1(42), really, absolutely want the fight? Does Joshua, 24-3(22), really, absolutely want the fight?
What a shot in the arm for those fatigued and jaded fight fans who say the best fighting the best is a rarity these days, a Wilder Vs. Joshua fight would be. Come on, AJ, Wilder – do like Malik Scott says and make it happen!