Home Boxing News Anthony Joshua vs Deontay Wilder talks drag on, interim fights could be...

Anthony Joshua vs Deontay Wilder talks drag on, interim fights could be order of the day

Anthony Joshua gets words of advice from Derrick James

Anthony Joshua 26-3 (23) could fight again before the end of the year if his proposed bout against Deontay Wilder 43-2-1 (42) in January is pushed back.

Talks for a January clash between the two former heavyweight champions in Saudi Arabia have dragged on and there is now the suggestion that it may not take place until as late as March.

Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn has revealed they would look at taking an interim fight if that happens.

“Talks are ongoing. We are still in the same position of a January fight. If we don’t conclude that fight and they talk about moving it to February or March, we will probably fight in December. Wilder is talking about fighting in October, but it’s already September now,” the Matchroom Boxing boss told iFL TV.

“He will wait to fight Wilder in January. He’s training now. He wants to fight in December. If they turned around and said ‘let’s do the Wilder fight in December’ he’d do it. But everybody is talking like it’s happening, but until it’s happening it ain’t on. Until it’s on, we’ll keep our options open for December. Ideally, we’d like to go straight into the Wilder fight.”

If Joshua does fight in December, it will be the first time the 33-year-old Brit has boxed three times in a calendar year since 2016.

Back in April, Joshua scored a 12-round unanimous decision victory over fringe contender Jermaine Franklin 22-2 (14), followed by a seventh-round knockout of Robert Helenius 32-5 (21) in August.

“I think you’re going to end up seeing the best of him in the bigger fights,” Hearn said. “The reality is if he did have another fight it would be on the level of Dillian [Whyte], Helenius… those kinds of levels. Would it get the best out of him? I don’t think it wouldn’t be beneficial [to have a third fight in 2023], but I don’t think it would change the result of the Wilder fight.”

Former WBC cruiserweight champion turned pundit Tony Bellew believes Joshua has the power to trouble big hitting American Wilder, 37, if he lets his hands go.

“Deontay Wilder has got mind numbing power but so has Anthony Joshua, when he throws it. If you force him [Joshua] to throw, which Helenius didn’t do, then it’s a different ball game. I think gun-shy is a little bit unfair, tentative is how I’d describe AJ’s performance [against Helenius],” Bellew said to Bit Coin Casinos.

“In my view I would just like Josh to get back to what he does best, which is to get on his chest and just throw punches. What happens to fighters is when we lose or get stopped it makes us vulnerable and wary. Sometimes we overthink things and I think that’s the phase he’s going through. He knows that he’s vulnerable and wary.”