With Deontay Wilder seemingly set to face Anthony Joshua in Saudi Arabia later this year, many in the sport are getting their predictions lodged. The latest is former cruiserweight world champion turned pundit, Johnny Nelson.
The two former world champions have been on a long and frustrating collision course to face off, but finally look set to do so for mega money in the Middle East.
After losing his title to Fury, Wilder has been in the ring for just one round – a statement KO of Robert Helenius. Similarly, once Joshua was beaten by Oleksandr Usyk twice, he returned to winning ways with a decision over Jermaine Franklin.
Speaking to Pro Boxing Fans, Nelson sided with the American based on current form.
“All right, this is gonna get them going… I think AJ, from his last performance, if he boxes Wilder, Wilder beats him. And I’ve got to say that. I’m a massive supporter of AJ, and I’ll always support him left right and centre – but you gotta say what you see and say how it is.”
“In against Wilder now, I think AJ needs to make some massive adjustments to prove me wrong. To prove probably what a lot of people are thinking but not saying, for whatever reason.
It’s a great fight, and AJ has the ability to do it, but going on his last performance – last two out of three performances – I say Wilder. That’s a fight that Wilder’s got the power to jump on him. AJ can’t fight this guy second guessing thinking ‘Should I? Should I?’
Because if he waits too long, Wilder is that fighter who just needs one split second.”
Nelson’s pick may have cause to change given that both Joshua and Wilder are expected out in late summer before their showdown is signed and delivered.
For ‘AJ’ it’s a chance to show fans he should be backed going into the transatlantic clash, as well as get some more work in under new coach, Derrick James, who has only been in the corner for one fight so far.
The opponent seemed almost nailed on to be Dillian Whyte, but promoter Eddie Hearn recently told Boxing Social that there are two other heavyweights in the running should a deal not be reached.