Former WBC Heavyweight Champion, Deontay Wilder, has declared who he will face in 2024 should a deal with Anthony Joshua fail to be made.
Wilder and Joshua were in negotiations when they were both champions in 2018 ahead of what would have been the first four-belt undisputed title bout in the history of the division. Since then, both men have lost their championship status and are aiming to climb back to the heavyweight throne.
As a result, talks of the long-desired contest were reignited earlier this year, continuing to tease the ever-pessimistic boxing fans with cyclical reports of the fight collapsing and then being near-completion.
But it now seems that a deal may have been agreed, with a date for the bout being reported providing both men are successful on the ‘Day of Reckoning’ card.
In an interview with talkSPORT, ‘The Bronze Bomber’ revealed that former UFC superstar Francis Ngannou is his alternate option should the illusive showdown with Joshua fail to be agreed.
“It is going to be one or the other, it could be [both Joshua and Ngannou in 2024], but I think it is going to be one or the other. It can happen that way where I see both of them, but I know for sure that I am going to get one of them, I know that for sure. So, the future is bright and I’m looking forward to [fighting] whoever I get into the ring with, whether that is both or one, I am grateful for it all.”
It seems that Joshua-Wilder hinges on their respective success next weekend, where ‘AJ’ faces Otto Wallin and Wilder takes on Joseph Parker on a blockbuster night of boxing live on TNT Sports Box Office.
As for Ngannou, he’s expected to return, at least briefly, to MMA, but has been open about looking for a ‘mixed rules’ bout with Wilder following his impressive loss against Tyson Fury.