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Bernstein: Wilder’s best chance against Joshua is in the early rounds

Al Bernstein says if Deontay Wilder doesn’t knock Anthony Joshua out early, Joshua’s strength could rule the day.

Brent Musburger And Al Bernstein Unveil Broadcasting Studio For VSiN Sports Gambling Information Network Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Wil Esco is an assistant editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2014.

Showtime boxing commentator Al Bernstein recently took some time to talk to On The Ropes Boxing Radio about the biggest heavyweight fight out there — Deontay Wilder vs. Anthony Joshua — and gives his take on how he thinks a fight between the champions shakes out.

Bernstein didn’t want to make a firm pick about who he favors to win, just in case he ends up announcing the fight if it should happen, but he did say he feels like it’s one of those fights where whoever lands first has the biggest advantage. To that end Bernstein says we’ve actually seen Joshua take a big shot big shot and rally back, but we can’t say the same about Wilder.

“I think Wilder’s best chance in that fight is to get him out in the first three or four rounds. I believe if the fight goes on, Joshua’s strength could be an impact, but we’ll see. Joshua is probably technically a better fighter than Wilder. Wilder is quicker, has better movement, is more difficult to figure out because he’s so unorthodox and unconventional sometimes.

“Both fighters have certain things that they can bring into this fight as a plus. Boxing has had a great year in 2017, and heading into 2018, it’s looking like all great matches are being made for this coming year as well. The Wilder-Joshua fight would go along way toward putting boxing right back on a path it should be and it would help build on 2017, which was really special.”

Wilder-Joshua is without a doubt the fight to make at heavyweight, but Joshua would seem to have some other big options on the table as a potential fight against Tyson Fury looms in the background, which would be a big deal in the UK.

But a Fury fight aside, fans are most anxious to two Wilder and Joshua unify their world titles. There’s been some preliminary discussions about that fight, but it appears that if it ever comes together it won’t be at least until the second half of 2018.

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