Deontay Wilder’s manager, Shelly Finkel, has thrown his fighter’s hat in the ring for a shot at unified heavyweight champion, Oleksandr Usyk.
The American businessman’s intervention comes after Usyk’s team announced they have ‘pulled the plug’ on the Fury fight talks, citing unacceptable demands and disrespect as the reason.
Despite Fury’s side – namely promoter Frank Warren – still holding out hope that a deal can be reached, talk amongst fans and pundits is moving on to what’s next for both men.
The WBA have made it clear that the champion – Usyk – will be ordered to face his mandatory – Daniel Dubois – should the Fury fight not be signed by April 1.
Usyk’s team have confirmed that this is the route they will take, but it won’t stop suitors coming forward for a shot at the three-belt king – the first of which has been Deontay Wilder
Finkel told Sky Sports that the former champion would take a fight with Usyk ‘in a heartbeat’ – reigniting past comments from both men that hinted at a scrap not being hard to make in the future.
Wilder recently announced that he was preparing to return to the ring following a first round knockout of Robert Helenius in October of last year. That bout was his first since two consecutive defeats to Fury.
Although the heavyweight from Alabama has been ordered by the WBC to face Andy Ruiz Jr for a mandatory position, there’s been a distinct feeling that his team have been holding out for a ‘bigger’ fight to present itself.
A shot at the WBA, WBO and IBF belts instead would certainly fit that bill.
However, whilst pitting Wilder’s explosive power against Usyk’s elite boxing brain would be a treat for fans, the champion is much more likely to play by the sanctioning body’s rules and hold onto his belt.
More is expected in the coming days as to how the land lies on the heavyweight scene.