… but Wilder declared war on Anthony Joshua after he KO’d Bermane Stiverne, there was that Tha Boxing Voice episode with Eddie Hearn and Deontay Wilder. Eddie Hearn has said they have opened negotiations! It must be happening in 2018? Sadly no, it probably won’t happen in 2018. As much as I would love this fight to take place ASAP, the hurdles to overcome in making Anthony Joshua v Deontay Wilder in 2018 seem too steep at this present moment.

I know Deontay won’t shut up about Anthony Joshua; even the last couple of days has seen Wilder appear on the popular podcast The Big Brown Breakdown and sports giant ESPN. In these interviews Wilder has pushed for a fight with Joshua, verbally at least. However all the smack talking in the world won’t make this fight happen alone as Wilder has been doing some serious self-publicising since his impressive 1st round KO over Stiverne. The clues are plentiful as to why this fight won’t take place in 2018 and when anticipating the behaviour of each fighter’s teams, the prospect of Joshua v Wilder in 2018 looks very bleak.

Surely, however, the rhetoric from both camps and the chance for both fighters to earn a case full of money should appease my concerns? Again, sadly not. Upon Wilder’s short nights work against Stiverne, the quotes from especially Lou DiBella didn’t fill me with optimism. When asked by reporters captured on FightHype.com, who’s next for Deontay Wilder, Lou Di Bella responded “I don’t know, but he’s the Heavyweight champion of the World. We’ll continue to fight (the) fights that make sense” but it was the fact Lou DiBella said in the same video “I don’t think anybody is close to having that fight now!” 

Since that interview though, a lot has happened in terms of hype anyway, from both Wilder and promoter Eddie Hearn. This has led to much excitement surrounding a mouth watering Heavyweight shoot-out between the two Heavyweight World champions. Despite the verbal promotion by both parties, when Eddie Hearn called into Tha Boxing Voice to plead his case regarding the non-negotiations of Joshua v Wilder, the message from the UK-based promoter was similar to DiBella in many respects. Firstly, Eddie Hearn told Tha Boxing Voice “We have had no contact from any of Wilder’s representatives!” The initial evidence does not support the notion of Deontay Wilder declaring war on Anthony Joshua. Secondly Eddie Hearn went on to say “We are going to have to pay Deontay Wilder significantly more than he’s worth.” 

At this point I was even more pessimistic towards the two Heavyweights facing off in 2018. But even more so when Eddie Hearn came out with “His (Wilder) team know that the Joshua/Wilder really shouldn’t happen next! They know that! The sensible thing is for this fight to take place in 12 to 18 months” as it turns out it’s only 13 months until 2019!

Despite Lou DiBella’s war cries after Wilder’s emphatic victory, he doesn’t actually have too much to do with decision making on behalf of Deontay Wilder. Shelly Finkel and Al Haymon have emerged as Wilder’s negotiators, the pair meeting with Eddie Hearn shortly after the enthralling Tha Boxing Voice episode earlier mentioned. But, again neither side are in too much of a rush to strike a deal, although Eddie Hearn describing the meeting as “positive” with Shelly Finkel and Al Haymon, there is clearly on long way to go “We had a meeting this morning. I don’t want to say too much about it as I don’t want to upset anyone. All I can tell you was it was productive; we all would like to see the fight happen. There is a lot to discuss, everything from; splits to venues to money to broadcasters.” Hearn told IFL TV.

We haven’t even mentioned the fighters who could step into Wilder’s spot and replace if not exceed the revenue of the WBC champion. That being Tyson Fury, The Gypsy King, still Ring Magazine World Champion. The openly depressed and overweight Fury has recently received verbal backing from Eddie Hearn to get him back in the ring for a Wembley stadium filler ready for Anthony Joshua this summer, helped by Hearn’s broadcaster; Sky Sports sinking their claws into Tyson Fury. Hearn and Sky Sports have smothered Tyson Fury of late, it appearing Sky Sports and Eddie Hearn have their hearts set on Anthony Joshua VS Tyson Fury in the 2nd half of 2018.

Wilder will likely face Luis Ortiz or Dominic Breazeale in early 2018. Ortiz came to a swift resolution with the WBC over a failed drug test and Breazeale is a mandatory challenger for the WBC title. Dillian Whyte is still in the mix for Wilder despite the unfavourable comments towards Whyte from Wilder’s team. A chance for Wilder to make a career high payday will be taken seriously, especially with Eddie Hearn venturing into America with Matchroom USA. Deontay Wilder VS Dillian Whtye in America would have to be the answer to that fight happening.

I do think the fight between Joshua and Wilder can happen however, if both fighters keep looking impressive and remain undefeated until the summer of 2019. This is probably the plan for both parties realistically, to build both fighters to their optimum value and all make a lot more money in 2019.

By Adam Noble-Forcey


Image by DLG Image Creations