Deontay Wilder’s trainer Malik Scott has spoken out about who he wants next for his charge, and says he has his eyes set on only the biggest names in the heavyweight division for Wilder.
Scott named Oleksandr Usyk and Anthony Joshua as the two names atop his list of potential opponents for ‘The Bronze Bomber,’ and that a final eliminator for the WBC world title against Andy Ruiz Jr – heavily tipped to take place in 2023 – did not have the same appeal.
However, Scott told ES News that it was looking probable he and Wilder would have to “settle” for Ruiz Jr next.
“What I want is Oleksandr Usyk next, what I want is Anthony Joshua next. It’s looking like we may have to settle for Andy Ruiz, but I’m hoping not.”
“I don’t mean that in a way to tear down Andy, Andy is a very dangerous fighter. But I’m looking at history making fights, stadium filling fights like Joshua vs Wilder, Wilder vs Usyk, Wilder vs Fury IV – I’m interested in these kind of fights.”
“But if we have to take Ruiz, then we have to take Ruiz.”
Wilder announced his return to top end of the heavyweight division in explosive fashion last month, knocking out Robert Helenius in the first round of their fight at the Barclays Centre. With a clear route back to his old belt provided by the WBC, it was assumed that the Ruiz fight would be a no brainer.
Usyk has made it clear that he is waiting for a Tyson Fury fight in late February or early March. A potential meeting with Anthony Joshua and Wilder has been clamoured for by fans for years, but promotional politics prevented to the two punchers ever facing off.
However, Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn has been echoing the comments of Malik Scott in recent interviews, expressing a desire to make the fight with Wilder next year.