Malik Scott, trainer of former heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder, has called out Anthony Joshua and his team for not making the long-awaited fight happen.
At one point, a bout between Wilder and Joshua would have been for the undisputed heavyweight championship. Now, both beaten by the current champions in Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk, the pair need big fights in the division to stay relevant and close to the title picture.
A US versus UK clash is still high on the list of fights fans want to see, and there have been some positive comments in the media recently that point towards it happening this year.
Speaking to IFL TV, Scott said that, despite what both Eddie Hearn and Joshua have said publicly, they don’t want the fight.
“Yeah when it has to do with the interview and verbally saying it, but I don’t believe physically they want to fight Deontay Wilder. In the interview it’s a good sales pitch.
Why would they see ‘we don’t want to fight Deontay’? That’s a horrible marketing job … they have to go with the flow and say ‘we’ll fight, I’m sure it’s gonna happen’ But how long has that been said?”
“It’s just been so much cr*p. I’m really sick of it.”
“Shelly [Finkel] has been basically chasing Eddie [Hearn] and trying to get this fight done. Going about it publicly that he wants to get it done, showing emails that he wants to get it done … I really just believe it’s their side.”
If the trainer seemed to be being coy about who was to blame initially, he was then clear when he said he believes that, ultimately, it’s Joshua who doesn’t want it.
“I’m to the point now that I’m thinking it’s a Joshua thing. Because to me the fighter has the responsibility to rave for the fight.”
Hearn and ‘AJ’ would respond that Joshua’s recent (and latest) trainer switch means that they want to build up to the Wilder fight rather than jump straight in, and the promoter has confirmed this by laying out a three fight plan for the year.