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Shelly Finkel reveals next three opponents for Deontay Wilder

Anthony Cocks

Australian-based boxing journalist Anthony Cocks has been covering the sport for over 15 years for various print and online publications. He refuses to believe that Roberto Duran ever lost to Tommy Hearns and says that Jeff Fenech would destroy Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali on the same night.

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WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder is lining up fights with Anthony Joshua, Tyson Fury and Luis Ortiz for his next three bouts, according to co-manager Shelly Finkel.

In an interview with SunSport, Finkel said he was in negotiations with Joshua’s US broadcaster DAZN and Fury’s American promoter Top Rank, while Ortiz still remains in the frame.

“We’re working on that, and those three fighters, Deontay will be fighting all of them in a succession which we will hopefully work out in the next couple of weeks,” Finkel said.

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Last weekend Wilder, 33, made the ninth defence of his heavyweight title with a one-punch first-round knockout of Dominic Breazeale to lift his record to 41-0-1 (40).

Finkel responded to claims by both Fury and Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn that Wilder will rematch Cuban southpaw Ortiz in his next title defence.

“No, not true,” he said. “That is something we are working on now, hopefully by next week it will be resolved.

“I had dinner the other night with [DAZN executive] John Skipper, we discussed the Joshua fight and I also have been in touch with Top Rank.

“In the next two weeks everything will be done, it will be said publicly what we’re doing and I believe the UK fans will also be happy.”

With Wilder aligned with broadcaster Showtime, Joshua contracted to DAZN and Fury recently signing a lucrative multi-fight deal with ESPN, there has been a school of thought that the rival networks would prevent these fights from happening.

Not so, says Finkel.

“These two fights are too important for the fighters and the sport, they both will happen,” Finkel insisted.

“When it’s ready a fight will be made, Bob [Arum of Top Rank] will make a fight with us, that’s not an issue and we can do something with DAZN also – they are not issues.

“There is not an issue with DAZN, there is not an issue with making the fight.”

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