Former two-division world champion, Paulie Malignaggi, has made his prediction ahead of the expected heavyweight clash between former world champions, Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder.
Joshua has bounced back from consecutive defeats to Oleksandr Usyk with two victories this year – a points decision over Jermaine Franklin and a knockout of Robert Helenius – both under the guidance of newly-appointed trainer, Derrick James.
Wilder also fought Helenius, dispatching of the Finnish heavyweight in the very first round last October, but hasn’t been seen in the ring since.
Malignaggi told Boxing King Media that he is ‘not crazy’ about the fight but is leaning towards Wilder getting his hand raised.
“I don’t think that you can box the way that Joshua boxed Helenius for six/seven rounds against Wilder.
Wilder will find the range on you, he will find the trajectory, hone in on you and get out of there. You have to intimidate him ferociously and I don’t know if that tentative touching and trying to find your way in is going to intimidate Wilder, as a matter of fact, Wilder is going to keep pumping that jab and he is going to shoot that right-hand.
Yeah, Wilder has bad footwork, I get it, he’s got bad combinations, he’s only got that one-two, but it’s a very dangerous one-two and he knows how to use it.
Joshua has never been a guy to use a lot of head movement to begin with, now he is trying to use the head movement, but he is thinking about it too much and he is not really working off of the head movement. It’s like everything is slowed down, when you’re on point, everything in your mind looks slowed down but in reality it is faster, but Joshua is literally slowing everything down and I think that hesitancy hurts him against Wilder.”
Eddie Hearn has admitted that talks for the fight haven’t progressed as quickly as he would have liked, but still expects to conclude a deal in the coming weeks.