Deontay Wilder has his own plans, a return with ageing bogeyman Luis Ortiz in September, and then a fight with who knows who, maybe Adam Kownacki. And so rival heavyweight belt holder Anthony Joshua must, for the foreseeable future, carve out plans of his own that do not involve the reigning WBC champ.
That said, promoter Eddie Hearn, frustrated at the way Wilder is in his opinion, continuing to “avoid” a super-fight with Joshua, is looking at names for Joshua’s next assignment after this Saturday night’s defence against a very up for it Andy Ruiz. Hearn, insisting AJ is in no way looking past the Mexican/American “Destroyer” – (“if Joshua doesn’t perform and loses, we’ll be fighting Ruiz again,” he told IFL TV) – listed three possibilities.
Informing IFL TV that it could be a mandatory requirement that Joshua takes care of in his next fight, the names Kubrat Pulev (WBA) and Oleksandr Usyk (WBO) were put forth as regards who might be next. Hearn also spoke of the possibility of a rematch between Joshua and Dllian Whyte. There was also some mention of Tyson Fury (who may or may not end up fighting Whyte next instead, after he’s dealt with Tom Schwarz on June 15).
As a betting man, Pulev would be the favourite from this view, provided Pulev both wants it and providing Joshua isn’t banged up or beaten up by Ruiz. A Joshua-Pulev fight is no bad match-up, but at the same time, it hardly sets pulses racing. Critics who have laid into Wilder-Ortiz II cannot claim this is a superior or more exciting fight, surely.
So this is where we are right now: still watching the three claimants to being the best big man in the sport circling each other like empty wagon trains that have left the ammo back at the ranch. Somewhere, some day, some how, Wilder and Joshua WILL fight, it simply has to happen. As does the winner of that fight going up aginst Fury, for a second time if it’s Wilder.
If not, then the hell with it. We can’t force men to fight. They must feel that need all by thenselves. Do these three men wonder as much as we all do who it is that is really, truly, undoubtedly the best? We had better hope so.