Potential Anthony Joshua Fight Is More Crucial for Deontay Wilder Than Reclaiming His Lost Title

Published 12/20/2023, 10:39 AM EST

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Deontay Wilder has put 43 opponents to dust but feels Anthony Joshua is the one he needs to fight now. The former WBC heavyweight champion is hotly pursuing a fight with AJ and continues dropping verbal bombs on him. After spending decades at the top, he is looking to close his career and give his fans what they want—a showdown with his fellow journeyman. However, the American boxer wants to put a feather on his boxing resume, which screams that he fought a two-time heavyweight champion.

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Wilder and Joshua will feature on the December 23 card, fighting Joseph Parker and Otto Wallin, respectively. If both fighters collect a win, they will be on a collision course for a fight on March 9 in Saudi Arabia. A massive payday awaits the two, despite both chasing different dreams.

Deontay Wilder: Drawing curtains on an illustrious career

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After spending 15 years in the boxing ring, Wilder wants to bow out with accolades and respect. He has fought the best and amassed respect as he knocked out every opponent he faced except two. First, when he defeated Bermane Stiverne and claimed the WBC title in 2015, and then whenever he fought Tyson Fury.

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‘The Bronze Bomber’ boasts a staggering record of 43-2-2, 42 KOs, and has nothing left to prove. He could comfortably bask in his success, call it quits, and put on money fights against Francis Ngannou. However, Wilder continues to push for a clash with the British boxer.

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The buzz, the history, and the animosity surrounding the fight are unparalleled. Further, the AJ fight will result in enormous PPV buys and a reported big paycheck worth $50 million for Wilder. Meanwhile, if the fight fails to materialize, the only option ahead for the 38-year-old is the winner of Tyson Fury vs. Oleksandr Usyk. Wilder and Fury have already fought three times, and a fourth fight may not be feasible. On the other hand, a fight with Usyk may not generate the same traction as a fight with Joshua might.

A fight in the making for a long

Deontay Wilder and Anthony Joshua’s rivalry dates back a long time, and it reached a zenith in 2019 when both held all four belts. Despite entering into negotiations multiple times, they both failed to ink a deal. This time around, they are not burdened by the gold. 

“After this fight, when I come out with my win, and hopefully Joshua comes out with his win, we can finally once and for all settle the score. And get this and give the fans what they’ve been waiting for to see,” Wilder expressed with a glimmer of hope.

Wilder, at 38, is not getting younger. He now has a two-fold agenda whenever he fights: give the fans the fight they want and fight the best in the division, even at the cost of a title. All he wants to do is leave a lasting legacy, and a fight with Joshua fits the bill.

Fighting Anthony Joshua: a fight for the legacy, not belts

Speaking to the media recently, Wilder mentioned that he knew Joshua’s title ambitions. Joshua undoubtedly harbors intentions to become a three-time heavyweight champion. But for Wilder, the legacy and fighting the best of the best in division matter. The allure of gold doesn’t.

“For me, I want to fight the best of the best in the division. I don’t really care about belts. But to leave my career, I want to leave a legacy. I want to leave something that the people can remember as somebody that fought the best of the best in my era,” Wilder declared.

He continued, “Because at the end of the day, people are not going to worry about what belt you have. But they are going to worry about, they are going to remember about who you fought, the time you fought.”

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Alternatively, the Alabama native can hope Usyk triumphs over Fury, and then he can fight him for the undisputed title. After Joshua denies a fight with Wilder, the latter can even try to negotiate a fourth fight with Fury, which might be a better name than most of the boxers on the roster. Fans and promoters might approve of the fight given the previous three successful PPV clashes. But a fight with Joshua will be the best fight he can have next, more so than an IBO heavyweight crown.

Watch This Story: Everything You Need To Know About Upcoming Saudi Arabia Fight Card Including Dmitry Bivol, Deontay Wilder And Anthony Joshua

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Written by:

Rohit Lohan

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One take at a time

I hail from a family of passionate sports lovers, especially combat sports. It is from there that I realized how aptly combat sports embody life. The words of Jeremy Lesniak, "It's not about learning to fight, it's about learning to be better through the expression of action" resonated with the interest I had in combat sports.
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Edited by:

Gokul Pillai

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