Tony Bellew has mapped out his ideal 2023 as a boxing analyst and fan, and it includes one heavyweight fight that has all the ingredients to be a classic.
Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder have been on a frustratingly obstacle laden collision course. The pair have 64 knockouts between them – most brought to the table by Wilder – and a fight would pit the United Kingdom against the United States.
The former cruiserweight world champion wrote in his DAZN column that next year is the perfect time for the two former champions to finally step through the ropes and face one another.
“This has been on my list for the last few years now, but I just don’t see how Anthony Joshua against Deontay Wilder is anything but a heavyweight classic.
Both can punch, both have weaknesses, and both are desperate to prove a point and get back on top. Trust me, this will be a fight for the ages, and I’d love to see it finally get over the line.”
At one stage, the fight was being negotiated for the undisputed heavyweight championship when Joshua and Wilder were undefeated. Of course that presented its own excitement, but, as Bellew points out, the fact that both men have now tasted defeat almost makes the bout more intriguing.
Joshua has been stopped by Andy Ruiz Jr, and his American counterpart was knocked out by Tyson Fury twice. These results only serve to reinforce the opinion that a meeting between the two would not see the final bell.
Following more positive updates from both sides, the fight looks perhaps as likely as ever for 2023. As the belts that were once theirs remain tied up with Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk, ‘AJ’ versus ‘The Bronze Bomber’ is one of the very best match ups in the division outside of the title picture.