Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder look likely to put years of talking to an end and finally settle their rivalry in the ring.
It’s been a long time coming for boxing fans, who could have once witnessed the fight for all four major belts. It didn’t happen, and both men have since lost their world titles.
The intrigue remains, though, and with the mega-money assistance of Saudi Arabia, the transatlantic heavyweight clash is being set up for this December.
What they do in the mean time is yet to be decided, with both open to a fight but not confirming anything further. One man who’s waiting for that decision – particularly on Joshua’s part – is Dillian Whyte.
Whyte has been touted to have a rematch with ‘AJ’ this August, but has grown frustrated at the lack of movement on that proposal. He told The Sun that his domestic rival didn’t want to risk the Wilder fight.
“Joshua’s team are doing interviews saying he beats me in four rounds. But he can’t decide if I’m his dream opponent or his worst nightmare.
I want the fight. I know that DAZN want the fight, too, because it would be an absolutely huge event. The only problem we all have is Joshua. He has confidence issues and is afraid to take the fight.
He doesn’t want to risk his retirement payday in Saudi Arabia against Wilder — who is also past his sell-by date.”
Whyte’s frustrations with the division are palpable, and echoes that of the fans. He has also thrown his hat in the ring to face Wilder in the past, and is still open to a bout with the American KO artist.
A second fight with Joshua – the first in 2015 ending in Whyte losing by stoppage – looks much more likely though. Eddie Hearn, who promotes Joshua and works with Whyte regularly, has said ‘AJ’ should return to the ring in August.
Whyte isn’t for waiting much longer to get an offer. He says he’ll be setting a deadline soon and that his potential opponent isn’t the star attraction he once was.
“Joshua isn’t the golden goose anymore, the sport doesn’t revolve around him.”
Announcements as to Joshua-Wilder as well as what both men choose to do beforehand are expected soon.