By: Sean Crose
While the sport of boxing is now making fights happen (hello Crawford-Spence) that fans want to see, it only seems fitting that supersized former heavyweight titlists Deontay Wilder and Anthony Joshua should finally square off in the ring. Each man has most recently pulverized gutsy contender Robert Helenius. What’s more, the division’s other top names, Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk, are currently occupied. Besides Fury has beaten Wilder soundly on several occasions while Usyk has done the same to Joshua. That’s not to say neither Joshua nor Wilder can’t one day come back and conquer his former conqueror. Pacquiao-Marguez IV proved that it’s never too late to make your point in boxing. First, however, it would be quite interesting if Joshua and Wilder would square off against one another.
For starters, these guys can hit. Wilder might well be the strongest puncher in the illustrious history of the sport – and that’s really saying something. As for Joshua, one need only watch last weekend’s fight with Helenius, or his hard earned eventual destruction of Wladimir Klitschko back in 2017, to get some idea of what he’s capable of. What’s more, both Wilder and Joshua have something to prove – mainly, that they can still hang at the top of the big man’s division. Lastly, a Wilder-Joshua fight would bring in a boatload of money and eyeballs, especially in Joshua’s native Britain, where the man is a legitimate celebrity. It would be a must see event, no doubt about it. Stylistically speaking, Joshua-Wilder is one of the best matches than can be made right now.
Will it happen, though? A few months ago, the answer could well have been “probably not,” as big matches simply weren’t being made – nor had they been being made for some time. Things appear to have changed in 2023, however. Terence Crawford and Errol Spence finally threw down in what turned out to be a fantastic performance for Crawford. Tank Davis and Ryan Garcia also did battle in a fight that brought in a ton of attention – at least until Davis dusted Garcia in the seventh. Even the impending battle between super middleweight king Canelo Alvarez and junior middleweight king Jermell Charlo is worthy of much attention. Does any of this mean Joshua and Wilder will be throwing down in the near future? Absolutely not. Yet Joshua claimed this weekend that he wants the Wilder fight. He should get his wish.
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