WBC heavyweight ruler Deontay Wilder wants a big unification showdown with Anthony Joshua, the reigning WBA and IBF champ – as Wilder has made clear many times. Joshua, straight after Saturday’s tougher than expected win over Carlos Takam, said the Wilder fight “has to happen.”
(Photo credit: Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME)
But while fans everywhere are hoping to see the two rival and unbeaten power-punchers clash in a mega-fight next summer, it seems we may all have to wait. The WBC champ, who of course faces former champion Bermane Stiverne in a rematch this Saturday, has been ordered to defend his green belt against the winner of the co-support bout in New York – between Dominic Breazeale and Eric Molina.
It’s probably fair to say that, however capable both contenders are, fans will not get too excited at the prospect of seeing either Wilder-Breazeale or Wilder-Molina II; the latter especially. While a Wilder-Breazeale fight would have some interest (added interest in the form of the back story the two have, what with the “altercation” that took place in Alabama after the two had won their respective fights this past February) it’s not Wilder-Joshua.
Wilder is of course never going to vacate his WBC crown, the hardware being, along with his unbeaten record, his biggest bargaining tool, so he can be expected to follow orders and indeed defend against the winner out of Breazeale and Molina next. The critics, of which there are many, have laid into the quality of Wilder’s title-fight opposition – just imagine the field day they’d have should Molina beat Breazeale on Saturday (not at all out of the question) and then Wilder wound up fighting another title fight rematch.
Many people are calling Wilder-Stiverne II a pointless fight. What would these same people call a Wilder-Molina II? Unification fights can take precedent over ordered mandatory fights, however, so maybe we will see sense, and what we want, with Wilder and Joshua indeed getting it on next summer.
Wilder needs the big acid test, and some people are losing their patience in this regard.