With Anthony Joshua in New York for Tuesday’s big Matchroom press conference, there are some wondering if Deontay Wilder, his would-be rival at heavyweight, would be willing to meet with Joshua face-to-face.
Wilder’s manager Shelly Finkel says that’s up to the WBC titleholder himself:
“It is Deontay’s choice whether to meet Joshua or not. In the past Deontay always liked Joshua and would definitely have met him. Now I am not as sure, but probably he would. ... What Deontay wants is respect shown from Joshua’s side, the same way that Joshua got it from Deontay when he asked for the term sheet.”
Wilder (40-0, 39 KO) and Joshua (21-0, 20 KO) had their teams negotiate for a full unification fight this year, but that never came through, and instead Joshua will face Alexander Povetkin on September 22 at Wembley Stadium.
But there’s already been talk of Wilder and Joshua meeting next April, when Joshua is scheduled to return to Wembley for the second of a two-fight deal at the stadium. Whether or not it happens is up in the air — the sides clearly have a little bad blood now, each blaming the other side for the fight not happening in 2018.
As for Wilder, it’s not clear what’s next for him, but he likely will fight again before the year is out.