Deontay Wilder’s manager, Shelly Finkel, confirmed last week that the former WBC Heavyweight champion would return to the ring later this year.
Finkel went on to state that a potential opponent for ‘The Bronze Bomber’ could be the winner of Usyk-Joshua 2 in August:
“Maybe the winner of Usyk and Joshua.”
“If Joshua wins – it’s a huge fight in the UK (between those two) – there’s so many intangibles so we’re looking to see what happens in that fight (Usyk and Joshua).”
However, in a wide-ranging interview on TalkSport, Tyson Fury’s co-promoter, Frank Warren, also confirmed that Wilder would return in 2022 but revealed his comeback opponent to be Robert Helenius:
“Well, Deontay is fighting in October – he’s coming back. He come off a bad knockout, no doubt about that, it was a bad knockout against Tyson, it was a tough fight for him.”
“He’s fighting the big guy, the big Scandinavian – Robert Helenius”
If ‘The Big Scandinavian’ was in fact the planned opponent, those plans now seem to have been thrown into Jeopardy. The Finnish heavyweight believes he has a legal argument to be the WBA mandatory challenger to the winner of the rematch in Saudi Arabia next month.
Speaking to Sky Sports he said:
“I am rightfully the WBA mandatory, so of course I am interested in the Usyk vs Joshua winner.”
“I definitely should be next. Every elimination bout after mine is bulls***. At this point, if we are not designated the mandatory after Usyk’s next fight, we will only have one option.”
“My lawyers are very confident that the WBA have bungled this whole thing, so I am confident in my position.”
Should Helenius be next in line for a shot at the titles, it’s understandable why he wouldn’t want to risk that position by taking a fight with Wilder – a fight in which he would undoubtedly be the heavy underdog.
The 38-year-old is on a three fight win-streak, including two stoppages against Adam Kownacki.
Whichever opponent ‘The Bronze Bomber’ does make his comeback against, as one of the most devastating punchers in boxing history his return can only add more excitement to the heavyweight division.