Deontay Wilder lost the WBC heavyweight title to Tyson Fury in 2020, but it seems like he’s eyeing up a shot at the rest of the belts in 2023.
It’s early to be talking title shots given that ‘The Bronze Bomber’ hasn’t even stepped through the ropes for his comeback fight yet. Having said that, he’ll do so on Saturday, and, should he come out on top, Oleksandr Usyk may just be waiting for him on the other side.
When Usyk beat Anthony Joshua for a second time – retaining the WBO, IBF, and IBO belts – he immediately called out Fury for an undisputed fight. There were back and forths about the scheduling which ultimately caused it to fall through, for now at least.
The Ukrainian Champion then said that he may be interested in a fight with Wilder in the interim, and it appears that Wilder has responded to the call out. At a press conference ahead of his fight this weekend with Robert Helenius, he spoke on the situation.
“I asked him, is he a man of his word? You know, and certain things, and they confirmed to me that he [is] … I’m going to hold him for his word, so we’ll see what happens. Hopefully he’s a man of his word and, upon being victorious, we’ll see what happens. This is the great thing about being a heavyweight in a small division – that you’re always one fight away from a title shot.”
"I asked Usyk, is he a man of his word?" 👀
Deontay Wilder is after the Ukrainian's titles should he beat Helenius 👑
[🎥 @premierboxing ]
— Boxing Social (@boxing_social) October 14, 2022
When put like that, it sounds easy to make the fight next. However, fans of the sport know all too well that things are never quite so simple – just look at the recent negotiations between Fury and Joshua. Still, the Usyk – Wilder situation would have less hurdles in theory given that the champion is not tied to a broadcaster.
If it was to be put together, it’s one of the more interesting clashes of styles in the heavyweight division. How might the speed and skill of Usyk come up against the raw power of Wilder? Rumours are that Usyk may be in attendance to watch ‘The Bronze Bomber’ in action on Saturday night in Brooklyn.
In the end, like so much in the heavyweight division, it may all depend on what Tyson Fury decides to do next.