Can Anthony Joshua Afford not to Fight Deontay Wilder? | Kwesé

Can Anthony Joshua Afford not to Fight Deontay Wilder?

Can Anthony Joshua Afford not to Fight Deontay Wilder?

14:15 SAST | 25 Sep 2018

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Can Anthony Joshua Afford not to Fight Deontay Wilder? In some ways that’s a silly question. Anthony Joshua (AJ) is a British pound multi-millionaire and can afford not to step in a ring ever again. But professional sport is not only about money. It’s also about pride. Long gone after you’ve  retired and got your golf handicap down to a respectable three or four, there’s the matter of personal pride, legacy and career goals.

It is perhaps inevitable that AJ fights Deontay Wilder, but the question is when? After packing Wembley to the rafters (with 80 00 people) Joshua did what was expected of him and found his big right hand to send Alexander Povetkin to the canvas. It seems his management team have already booked the stadium for 13 April 2019, because after the fight Joshua stated, “April 13 is what I'm really interested in, what's happening here in Wembley Stadium again.” The date and the venue are set, but not Joshua’s dance partner. The whole world and beyond – should any fight fans turn up on Mars – are itching for a Wilder-Joshua fight. It makes so much sense. Deontay Wilder owns the WBC (arguably the most respected belt) and has gone 40 fights unbeaten, 39 of those by knockout. He punches has a hard as a mule kicks, but lacks the finesse of a true great…for now.

Wilder has no problem with self-belief, but his confidence will be tested come 1 December when he faces Britain’s Tyson Fury. Should he beat the giant Fury (27-0, 19 KOs), then pressure will mount for a battle with Joshua. AJ himself is up for it, striking a conciliatory note on his failure to agree terms with Wilder last year, “We both done a lot of talking. Look, I'm not into the blame game. It was him, it was me, tit for tat. We both done a lot of talking. And I'm here now.”

The beauty of boxing of course is that the build-up in organising a fight can be more combative and sensational than the fight itself. Wilder does not quite have the following of Joshua, so inevitably he’s chasing the match-up more than the Brit. And he’s using every trick in the book to get it, like picking on Joshua’s famous promoter Eddie Hearn, saying, “I want to fight Anthony Joshua, but Eddie Hearn doesn’t want to risk his gravy train.” Hearn himself is, at least publicly, pro the matchup, “I want Deontay Wilder because that is the biggest fight in world boxing. It would be the biggest fight in all-time British boxing history.”

Kwesé Sports has brought you the last five Joshua fights and we’ll be watching his story closely. Stay tuned for more. And, if you missed the fight, catch our highlights here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bx_0LgO6dFg

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