Anthony Joshua has been praised for his courage to immediately rematch Oleksandr Usyk after such a convincing defeat last year.
The Brit lost to the Ukrainian at the Jeddah Superdome in Saudi Arabia, dropping to 24-3 (22 KOs), as he looked to pick up the vacant Ring Magazine heavyweight championship and regain the WBA Super, IBF, IBO and WBO crowns he succumbed to the talented southpaw in their first fight at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London last September.
Joshua, who had new coach Robert Garcia in the corner, produced a much-improved display in the second fight against the pound-for-pound great.
And it was a showing that was described as “gutsy” by Shelly Finkel, the manager of former WBC champion Deontay Wilder.
In an interview with the Sun newspaper, Finkel – who had previously been in contact with Joshua and his team about a potential showdown with ‘AJ’ – stated that he was impressed by the 32-year-old.
“He was gutsy to go right back into the fight when he clearly lost the [first] one.
“But it really depends mentally on what Joshua feels he needs.
“If he needs to take a break and take a fight as a comeback fight or if he feels the real redemption is with Deontay, we’re open to it.”
Wilder is back in action in October when he takes on Robert Helenius at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York and Eddie Hearn, Joshua’s promoter, stated recently that he would like to work with him in future and Finkel isn’t ruling anything out:
”I’m not closed to it. I would never just walk away from it.
“If there’s a big offer there for that fight and Eddie wants to talk about it, at that point we’ll figure out what to do
“It’s had a couple of years to build up, it’s like Mayweather and Pacquaio for an example, it didn’t lose any glamour at that time”
But he went on to insist that his man is looking ahead to just the Helenius fight and wants to get that over with before dealing with anything else.
“Right now, we have one fight on our mind, and nothing else, which is Helenius.
“Because, if he doesn’t do what he’s supposed to do with Helenius, the rest doesn’t matter.”