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Deontay Wilder could face Charles Martin as Tyson Fury pursues Anthony Joshua

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Wilder hasn’t fought since getting destroyed in his rematch with Fury last year

Deontay Wilder v Tyson Fury Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

Deontay Wilder has not yet given up on a trilogy match with Tyson Fury despite “The Gypsy King’s” full-bore pursuit of an undisputed clash with Anthony Joshua. His manager, Shelly Finkel, tells Sports Illustrated that arbitration is on the horizon after mediation failed.

“We’re going to go for everything we can,” says Finkel. “I’m a realist with what I am up against. We have an agreement. Even if we didn’t have an agreement, we gave Fury two shots. He has made more money than he has ever seen. Deontay was very kind to him while he was going through his mental problems. Forget everything else, morally he should give him his shot.”

If that falls through, however, another potential opponent has reportedly emerged: former IBF champion Charles Martin, with whom Chris Mannix claims there have been “preliminary talks.” Finkel “said the one-time titleholder was one of several names under consideration for a Wilder fight.”

We give Martin (28-2-1, 25 KO) a lot of grief for the ridiculous means by which he won the title and the ease with which Anthony Joshua took it from him, but he’s proven to be a genuinely solid heavyweight these past few years. He’s 5-1 since falling to “AJ”, notably dominating Gerald Washington and giving Adam Kownacki a tough out in that one defeat.

If Wilder’s (42-1-1, 41 KO) head isn’t on straight, as recent evidence suggests, “Prince” could very well give him issues. And if Martin does end up crumbling, at least it might give Wilder the confidence he needs to get back in the game.