Joshua, Povetkin, Wilder and Whyte – Amidst the Heavyweight Jungle
By: Daniel Smith
Alexander the “White Lion” Povetkin is certainly no palloka Joe opponent for the current WBA, WBO, IBO and IBF world heavyweight champion, Anthony Joshua. The Russian bulwark and former WBA champion comes equipped with explosive hooking-bombs and an attacking ferocity that’s set to a hair trigger. A steely seasoned pro, a lethal brawling-scrapper who conducts his affairs inside the ring without pomp, pretence or pantomime grudges for that matter. A rough, tough fighter, who’s more than ready to upset the order of the food-chain amidst the heavyweight jungle!
Let’s take an analysis of the hardboiled Russian’s attributes.
Povetkin – a 6ft 2″ and 16 stone, solidly conformed, power-punching, pit-bull of a man. A heavyweight brusier who blasts out opponents from his inside fighting style and punishing combinations. Povetkin’s not a man to be tangled with, as his impressive record of 34 wins in 35 fights demonstrates his fighting caliber. The former two time heavyweight, Ring Magazine, Lineal and WBO, WBA, IBO and IBF champion, Wladimir Klitschko is only man to have beaten the “White Lion” – a win that came by unanimous decision, not before the Russian was knocked-down in round 2 from a quick left hook, and 3 knockdowns in round 7.
However, since his defeat against “Dr Steel-Hammer”, Povetkin has showcased and examplified his brutish-brawling aptitude by contiuing his winning streak in his last six bouts – his most recent victory coming by way of a chilling knockout against the 6ft 7″ heavyweight, British contender, David Price. Povetkin, prior to the knockout was staggered backwards, crashing into the ropes in round 3 before recovering and deploying a sledge-hammering hook to the chin that rendered Price out for the count in round 5.
In addtion to the hardboiled Russian’s rampart-esque attributes; Povetkin is “no piece of cake” for any fighter, including Mr Joshua. His resilience, grit, iron-determination and his rapcious pangs to be world champion once again, position him within the mix of top-tier heavyweight lions that trade leather in the squared cirlce.
AJ – some have regarded the heavyweight champion as the ‘complete boxer’. A fighter who posseses a furnished slew of a proficient pugilistic attributes, whilst equally equipped to slug it out in a gritty brawl when the chips are down. You just have to look no further than his win over Wladimir Klitschko, back in 2017.
Joshua is a boxer who appears to prefer fighting guys of similar height and weight. In his last two bouts, AJ fought Carlos Takam and Joseph Parker – two relatively smaller fighters within the division and two guys who he didn’t blast out of the ring or chin with smashing uppercuts. But that said, I feel the days of Anthony whamming fighters across the ring, maybe drawing to a close.
Nowadays, AJ seems to tread with caution, taking a more strategic chess- match enforcement; utilising dynamics, fundamental advantages, such as speed, skill, reach, knowledge and now, experience, rather than emptying his tank after six or seven rounds from firing-out a barrage of sheer velocitised power-punchers. Joshua seems to struggle slightly when figting the smaller heavyweights – his punching power becomes somewhat blunted with the shift of gravitational direction, from channelling his momentum downwards instead straight ahead or up.
But I’m confident Josh’s record will be sporting another notch come September, 22nd, 2018, for he’ll undoubtedly treat the Povetkin fight with the respect and earnestness it demands, not looking past the extremely dangerous opponent who thretens his rein. However, if he does emerge as the victor against the solid Russian; would the unfication bout between himself and Deontay Wilder be back on the cards in 2019? I have to be honest – I’m not completely sure it will come to fruition.
And here’s my thoughts as to why.
Not for a moment do I believe AJ harbors any fear or doubts in his ability to beat Wilder, nor do I believe he is ‘ducking’ the WBC champion (even though that’s how it may appear to some). However, I do believe Joshua is conscious he would be facing an opponent that is capable of destryoing his Lineal champion dreams, by sparking him out-cold. It may well in fact be Matchroom who are calculating the “risks vs. benefits” assessment of a unification battle with “the bronze bomber”, Deontay Wilder. And it’s a possibilty Hearn who’s avoidng the clash, in an attempt to have another ‘sing-song around the money tree’ or to ‘make hay while the sun shines’, as the old phrases go.
So, what are the risks and benefits of the WBO, WBA, IBO and IBF world heavyweight champion, (21-0) Anthony vs. the WBC world heavyweight champion, (40-0), Deontay Wilder?
Let’s take a look.
Wilder – a formidable powerhouse banger who dishes out brutal beatdowns like they’re going out of style. A dangerous fighter, a certified knockout merchant whose punching power detonates on impact like brass knuckles shattering a glass jaw. A man whose boxing forte is not within the parameters of pugilistic sophistication; nor could he lay claim to any proficient technique or graceful footwork. However, Wilder more than compensates and counters with a raw, brutal strength and a primal-predatory ferocity that detects fighters vulnerabilities and weaknesses, like a shark sensing a mere droplet of blood in miles of ocean before attacking its prey.
A towering 6ft 7″, 15stone 10lbs, physical heavy weight- hybrid whose lanky- skinny legs scaffold a lean and muscled statue that configures a physique that becomes a perilous weapon of mayhem and destruction, throwing a torrent of hard-solid shots, wildly swinging muscly spaghetti-like arms in a frenzied punching onslaught, demolishing and obliterating fighters into a straggled heap.
Deontay is understandably frustrated, as he’s not being given the opportunity to display his devastating punching aptitude against AJ – and I’m sure he’s rehersed the fight a million times, as he envisions himself beneath the lights of the squared circle, in the midst of a sell-out rip-roaring, blood-thirsty arena crowd, while he throws mostrous knockout shots before the ref waves off the fight and he emerges as unified heavyweight champion of the world; carving out a legacy along with the memories of career best performance within a battlegound domain that’s embellsihed with the blood, sweat and spit of a classic bout between two hard-hitting heavyweights – the best of their era.
In my opinion, Joshua would be taking the greater risk in this bout as he would be trading leather with an extremely ferocious opponent in Wilder, with an uncalibrated distribution of the belts at stake. I suppose that’s why the proposed uneven see-saw of financial spoils are being generously distributed in Matchroom and AJ’s favour.
It’s fair to say, only relevant people involved from both camps truely know what’s going on and when or if the fight will ever happen. It’s evident there are risks involved for both men, as it’s the heavyweight divsion and it the world can come crasing down with one big punch.
So there’s obviously a lot going on behind the scenes we don’t know about. However, what we do know is Anthony Joshua’s takes on Povetkin, while Wilder will probably have to defend his title to the mandatory challenger, Dominic Breazeale (19-1).
However, outside Joshua and Wilder, Dillian “the body snatcher” Whyte is the one to watch and possiblly the sleeping, unification giant of the heavyweight divsion – providing he makes an example of Joseph Parker by way of knockout. A potential cracker-jack of a fight that takes place on July 28th, 2018 at London’s O2 arena.
DAZN Kicks Off Stacked Fall Lineup of Boxing and MMA with Heavyweight Title Fight: Anthony Joshua vs. Alexander Povetkin
DAZN, the world’s largest dedicated live and on- demand sports streaming service, today announced the details of its expansion into the U.S. This follows parent company Perform Group’s $1 billion joint venture with Matchroom Boxing, one of the world’s leading boxing promoters, and a nine- figure multiyear global distribution agreement with Bellator MMA, a leading global combat sports franchise owned by Viacom. The first-ever fight night will be headlined by heavyweight world champion Anthony Joshua OBE and Alexander “The Russian Warrior” Povetkin as the two battle for Joshua’s WBA, IBF and WBO titles on Sept. 22 live from Wembley Stadium in London.
Scott Coker, Bellator President and CEO, announced today the invited participants and some of the matchups for its stacked Welterweight Grand Prix. The tournament begins with Douglas Lima taking on Andrey Koreshkov as part of the star-studded “Bellator: Mousasi vs. MacDonald” event on Sept. 29 from the SAP Center in San Jose. Additional fights in the tournament include Jon Fitch vs. Neiman Gracie and Ed Ruth vs. Yaro Umasov. The 10-fighter tournament will play out over the next year exclusively on DAZN.
Additionally, Eddie Hearn, Matchroom Boxing Managing Director, announced plans for a stacked Oct. 6 card at Wintrust Arena in Chicago featuring new signings and former world titleholders Jessie Vargas and Demetrius Andrade as well as world-rated heavyweight Jarrell Miller, in separate bouts. The card will also include IBF light heavyweight titlist Artur Beterbiev vs. Callum Johnson and WBO, IBF women’s lightweight champion Katie Taylor vs. Cindy Serrano. At today’s event, Hearn announced the signings of WBO super lightweight titlist Maurice Hooker, WBA super bantamweight titlist Daniel Roman and several promising American amateurs to Matchroom U.S.A.
Going live in the U.S. on Sept. 10, the Over-the-Top (OTT) sports streaming service made by fans, for fans, will be reshaping the way fans experience the sports they love by making the viewing experience simpler, more affordable and more accessible to all – starting with fight sports. The global streaming platform with millions of subscribers will provide viewers with unlimited access to premium sports content anytime, anywhere for a single subscription price of $9.99 per month following a one-month free trial. All matches streamed on the service will be available both live and on-demand, on a wide range of connected devices, including smart TVs, PCs, smartphones, tablets and game consoles.
“We launched DAZN to disrupt the status quo and change the way the world sees sports,” said James Rushton, DAZN CEO. “When you get DAZN, you’ll get all the fights; we won’t stash our best matchups for PPV, linear TV or a higher-tier package. And you’re going to get the entire card live, no matter the time zone and without constraints for one affordable price.”
As the first global pure sports OTT platform, DAZN will be embarking on its September launch with a stacked line up of 70+ fights – more than one fight night a week on average – through partnerships with Matchroom Boxing U.S.A., Bellator MMA and the World Boxing Super Series. Fans will also enjoy access to a robust content portfolio ranging from new shows premiering on the service, behind-the-scenes features leading up to big events and real-time news stories about the upcoming matchups, making it a must-have for fight fans in the U.S.
“DAZN is Perform Group’s most ambitious undertaking to date and we have big plans as a global streaming leader,” said John Skipper, Perform Group Executive Chairman. “In the last two years we’ve expanded into seven countries across three continents attracting millions of subscribers and creating long-term global partnerships with the best in the industry to bring our fans what they want at an affordable price.”
Fight fans who take advantage of DAZN’s one-month free trial just ahead of Sept. 22 will be treated to the following fight nights already scheduled:
• Sept. 22 – Anthony Joshua vs. Alexander Povetkin
• Sept. 29 – Bellator: Gegard Mousasi vs. Rory MacDonald
• Oct. 6 – Card featuring Jessie Vargas, Demetrius Andrade
• Oct. 12 – Bellator: Matt Mitrione vs. Ryan Bader***
*** Simulcast with Paramount Network
For more information on the fight cards, visit www.matchroomboxing.com and
Additionally, fight fans will feel right at home as International Boxing Hall of Fame fight announcer and the “voice of champions” Michael Buffer will be partnering with DAZN and Matchroom to bring his iconic “Let’s Get Ready to Rumble” call to all fight nights as part of the joint venture.
Fight sports is just the first chapter in DAZN’s multisport plans for the U.S. The platform, which first launched in Europe and Asia two years ago, has developed long-term relationships with rights holders around the world, including the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, EPL and UEFA among others. The sports streaming service has ambitious plans to expand the portfolio as more rights become available and make DAZN the true sports fan’s home, offering sports content from all over the world that’s viewable anytime, anywhere at one affordable rate. DAZN is already available as a multisport service in markets including Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Japan, Canada and most recently Italy. Fans can pre-register for the subscription service on www.DAZN.com, as well as receive news about the platform and the sports and games it will show. They can also follow DAZN’s U.S. social channels @DAZNUSA on Facebook and @DAZN_USA for Instagram and Twitter.
Is Deontay Wilder Going Down a Nowhere Road?
By: Charles Jay
Well, I tried. I tried to give you guys the biggest fight of your lives, the most exciting fight in world history. The first undisputed, undefeated, WBC, WBA, WBO AND IBF unified Heavyweight Champion Of The World since Lewis.They tried too you know… They asked for jungle deep numbers. Just to get out of the fight not knowing we were hustlers so we served’em (The Money’s In Da Bag)Just like a game of spades… What he do? That Nicca Benig smdh Just told a bold face lie, he’s not a stand up guy. Instead, he wanted to fight in his country”I respect that”They offered me a “Flat Fee” Crack Head money, something that’s equivalent to a pack of peanuts and loaf bread and a jar of honey!Look I represent the Dirty South I am a product of my own environment. Bama is where I made it out.This survival food I’m use to it, So I said bet “Give me the gun ll do it”.I just basically took the lowest offer in boxing history for a unified title bout… smh”Brain Dead” My team and I bent over backwards pause accepting everything they threw at us just to find out this Boy is terrified of me P****.3 months of Tea Parties by grown men they didn’t even have British hospitality and offer biscuits w/ the tea smh Damn!I said all that past s*** to tell the story and to apologize , I’m sorry guys they played us all.F***’em!! We move forward the future is still bright #51-0 baby let’s go.
That is admittedly not the most cohesive statement on the part of Deontay Wilder, the WBC heavyweight champion. But you might get the point; he is disgusted that he isn’t getting his opportunity to unify the championship against Anthony Joshua – not right away, anyway, as Joshua must first satisfy a mandatory requirement to face Alexander Povetkin.
Have you ever heard of the “golden rule”? Well, let’s paraphrase it – he who mines the gold makes the rules.
And as far as this duo is concerned, guess who that is?
Well, until Wilder starts filling up Legion Field in his native Alabama, it’s the guy on the other side of the pond.
And so if he wants the big bucks, he’s going to have to wait a while. Does he really have a choice?
Earlier in the week, we wrote about the GGG-Canelo fight, and as a sidelight to that story, Gennady Golovkin was stripped of his IBF version of the title, essentially because he went and fought Vanes Martirosyan instead of their mandatory challenger. But the thing, having one less belt to fight for in that scheduled September 15 matchup doesn’t really make a whole lot of impact on whatever overall interest the fight generates.
In this particular case – that of Wilder and Joshua – it’s different. Let’s explain.
These guys are both heavyweight champions, but that isn’t the division that creates the automatic glamour it used to. Joshua is big over in the UK, of course, but he is not so much of a household name over here. Wilder has a sparkling record of 40-0 with 39 knockouts, but he hasn’t fought a glittering roster of opponents and isn’t exactly “instant money.”
The fact is, neither has shown the ability to carry a Pay Per View event on his own strength in the U.S. In fact, Joshua has not even fought in the States.
You see what Wilder leads with – describing “the biggest fight of your lives” as “The first undisputed, undefeated, WBC, WBA, WBO AND IBF unified Heavyweight Champion Of The World since Lewis..”
So the point is, this is a fight that would appear to NEED to be for the undisputed title, in order to have the kind of cachet needed to score big enough in the Pay Per View market to satisfy what the financial demands of these guys would be.
In other words, these fighters need all the belts because they are not yet at the point where they are bigger than the titles they have.
And contrary to the impression the Wilder camp might be looking to create, the World Boxing Association (WBA) didn’t just suddenly come into the picture. They had been demanding that Joshua face mandatory challenger Povetkin for some time. On April 29, the WBA gave their champion 30 days to make the fight with Povetkin (who is also the WBO’s #1), and then even gave him an extension beyond that, because they were allowing for the Wilder negotiations to take place.
And Wilder can’t say he isn’t familiar with mandatories; the WBC had required him to fight their mandatory challenger, Bernard Stiverne, a second time, and he did just that, stepping in as a substitute after Luis Ortiz had failed a drug test pursuant to their scheduled fight in November of last year.
Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing, who is Joshua’s promoter, revealed that he had given Wilder two weeks to make a deal back on June 4, and naturally that deadline wasn’t met, for whatever reason. At such point as the WBA felt the negotiations had stalled, they made the demand for Joshua to make a deal with Povetkin within 24 hours. As a result, we are looking at a September 22 date for that.
Also, the WBA probably wanted to put Povetkin into that fight, due to the strength of his connections. And let’s face it – the WBA is going to do whatever it wants anyway; how else could one explain why they have kept Fres Oquendo in the picture as a mandatory challenger for their “regular” title for over four years, despite not being court-ordered to do so?
And hey – we’re not saying that Hearn didn’t want to avoid a Wilder deal, as has been implied, for the time being. Who knows?
But the fact of the matter – as we sit here today – is that if Joshua fights Wilder and not Povetkin first, we wouldn’t have an undisputed title fight anymore. Someone else would be the “real” WBA champion.
According to Shelly Finkel, Wilder’s co-manager, the offer to go to the UK was $15 million with a rematch clause. It wasn’t exactly “crack head money.” Instead, it was many times more than the career-high $2.1 million he reportedly earned when he eventually fought Ortiz.
When he mentions a “flat fee,” Wilder is making references to that offer, relative to what he his team (which includes Finkel and advisor Al Haymon) had previously proposed, which involved $50 million to Joshua to come to the States. This is the email sent from Finkel to Hearn, as it was reproduced at the Daily Express, a British news site:
With all due respect you know Al and I for a long time and you know this is not a Publicity stunt. I assure you that we’re serious and we would be glad to sit down with you and provide proper security for the funding and work out all the details. But it all has to start with Anthony Joshua accepting the $50 million offer that he asked for, which is also by far the largest guarantee and largest purse any heavyweight champion has ever made. Until then, it would be non-productive to meet. Please have Anthony accept the offer that he asked for and let’s get this fight made.
As far as that $50 million offer is concerned; well, if you remember one thing about professional boxing, remember this:
When it comes to the big money, there is never a deal until the contract is signed.
From Hearn’s standpoint, he never saw a contract and therefore was not just going to take it on faith that the money was real.
And the WBA just went down that road with the purse bid for their “regular” title, as a group connected to Oquendo and Chicago promoter Bobby Hitz came up empty when it was time to secure their $600,000 bid, ultimately leading to that fight (against “champion” Manuel Charr) being taken out of the Windy City and over to Germany.
There is a difference between wishing and hoping that you can produce enough revenue to support an offer, and actually having the strength to make a guarantee based on having those funds on hand, or knowing exactly where they are coming from. We’re not saying that they couldn’t get the money, but they may have been basing their offer on some unreasonably optimistic estimates. From what we’ve been able to ascertain, Wilder had been penciled in for about $12.5 million in this deal. So why wasn’t the $15 million offer from Hearn a better one? Because Wilder’s expectation is that he, and not Joshua, would participate in the upside from the offer described in Finkel’s letter, which, as mentioned, mandated that the fight take place on U.S. soil.
So would there indeed be some upside? Well, if you’ve got anywhere from $65-$70 million all-in, you are going to have to do a monster gate as a high-ticket item in Las Vegas, or, as we alluded to earlier in the story, sell out a place like Legion Field in Wilder’s home territory of Birmingham, which has over 71,000 seats. And a boatload of Joshua fans from overseas would have to make the trip. They’d have to get a very lucrative sponsorship deal of some kind. They would most likely have to do in excess of a million buys on Pay Per View in the United States. And they would have to do extremely well in the European PPV market.
I don’t really see it, though I could be wrong. Maybe it’s there. Maybe they had a way to secure those funds. But it’s a moot point now. And of course, we leave open the possibility that Joshua just doesn’t want to come and fight Wilder in the U.S.
Let’s also leave open the possibility that Wilder doesn’t want to fight Joshua at all.
Because now we have come to the next phase, which is the part where Wilder has now turned down an offer of $20 million from Hearn, who would allow him to fight an opponent, pretty much of his own choosing, in September or October (for $5 million), followed by an April bout at Wembley Stadium for the aforementioned $15 million.
He’s got a whole different idea of himself now.
As he told Brendan Schaub on an upcoming installment of Showtime’s “Below the Belt,” he’s not taking anything less than a 50-50 split.
In what universe would Deontay Wilder command financial parity with someone who can sell out a 90,000-seat stadium? Who made a reported $18 million for fighting Joey Parker and well over $20 million to fight Wladimir Klitschko? If Wilder was at that level, the 32-year-old, who has made seven defenses of his WBC title, would have made far more than a career-high of $2.1 million in a single fight. Truth be told, this fight would sell a lot more tickets in Birmingham, England than it would in Birmingham, Alabama.
I’m fairly certain Wilder isn’t increasing his value a whole lot here.
This isn’t the playground. It’s a business. And just as important as being able to exercise leverage is knowing when the other side can leverage YOU, because that’s how you determine when you have a deal you should take. Shelly Finkel ought to know this better than anybody.
And here are the basics of it: Deontay Wilder needs Anthony Joshua a lot more than Anthony Joshua needs Deontay Wilder. That is probably the MOST undisputed thing about this matchup.
As for Eddie Hearn; well, he is going to have his deal with streaming service DAZN in place, whether Wilder is on the menu or not. And although these events are ever-changing, he may just let Wilder sweat it out, trying to find someone to make a huge payday with. That road might lead nowhere.
Wilder told a reporter from British Boxing News on Friday, “I’m just glad the blindfolds are off the people’s eyes. Even casual fans can see what happened.”
Well, if you made me guess, I’d say even the casual observer has to wonder who’s driving the bus.
Joshua-Wilder Negotiations Fall Flat- Joshua to Face Povetkin Next
By: Sean Crose
After much hype and speculation about multi-tilist Anthony Joshua facing off against WBC titlist Deontay Wilder in a superfight for heavyweight supremacy, news has arrived that a Joshua-Wilder match won’t be happening in the near future. Instead, England’s Joshua will be facing Russia’s Alexander Povetkin, a mandatory for Joshua’s WBA belt. “We’re fighting Povetkin in September,” said Joshua promoter Eddie Hearn, “and we’re looking at multiple venues and dates.”
The thirty eight year old Povetkin was supposed to fight Wilder in May of 2016, but Povetkin tested positive for the banned substance meldonium, which led to the bout being scratched. Known as a formidable heavyweight, Povetkin’s one loss in 35 fights came against Wladimir Klitschko back when the Ukrainian dominated the division in 2013. Since that time, Povetkin has gone on to win eight straight, his last victory being a fifth round knockout of David Price in March of this year.
Joshua, on the other hand, boasts a 21-0 record and has ended all but one fight by knockout. He’s known to sell out entire stadiums in Great Britain and is now regarded as the sport’s biggest star aside from Canelo Alvarez. The WBA reportedly demanded Joshua fight Povetkin, under the threat of taking their title from around his waist.
“The WBA have allowed over a month extension to negotiations with Povetkin and also ongoing discussions with Deontay Wilder,” WBA President Gilberto Mendoza claimed on Tuesday. “It appears the Wilder team have not returned the contract for the fight and therefore we are requesting a date for the Joshua versus Povetkin fight with immediate effect.” Hearn subsequently responded that team Wilder would adhere to the WBA’s demands.
Some took to the internet to declare that the entire matter was concocted so that Joshua could avoid Wilder, his 40-0 American counterpart (like Joshua, Wilder has won all but one of his victories by knockout). Although both camps blame the other for a Joshua-Wilder throwdown not happening in the fall, Hearn has taken to pushing the chances of Povetkin in the September contest. “I think it’s a mad fight to take with the Wilder fight at the door,” said Hearn of the Povetkin bout, “but that’s AJ.”
“By (Joshua) fighting these guys,” Hearn claimed, “Wilder can’t say he’s afraid to fight him.” Wilder’s very public comments on the matter have suggested otherwise. “You coward ass bitch,” Wilder tweeted on Tuesday. “Had the world waiting for 3 months playing games just for this moment. You’re not a true champion!! You’re just a weak minded coward that’s holding hard metal. #Facts”
The most telling quote on the entire matter may have come from former heavyweight king Lennox Lewis, who weighed in on Thursday. “They way I see, it” he tweeted, “AJ is the man. He gets to choose time and place for first fight. I’d make Wilder come to me also… but from what I see from Wilder, he’s willing to… and this is same attitude i would have. When the HW division finally has a pulse, we need action not talk!”
Mark Breland On Team Joshua: “They Want Deontay To Fight Somebody Else”
by: Sean Crose
There was much hope earlier in the week that a heavyweight superfight between WBC heavyweight titlist, American Deontay Wilder and British multi-titlist Anthony Joshua would come to fruition. “BREAKING NEWS for all you @anthonyfjoshua fans,” Wilder tweeted. “The $50M offer for him to fight me next in the US is still available. Today I even agreed to their offer to fight Joshua next in the UK. If he prefers the fight in the UK, the ball is in their court. It’s up to them to choose.”
In the matter of a few days, however, the excitement of the fight world began to fizzle.
There is now a growing belief that Joshua, who is known to sell out entire stadiums, or his team, are not particularly eager to get in the ring with Wilder at any point in the near future, even though it’s clear Joshua would be the favorite walking in. One particular person who doesn’t think team Joshua wants a piece of Wilder at the moment is Wilder’s own trainer, Mark Breland. Breland, a former Olympic gold medalist turned multi-time world welterweight champion admits that “eventually, they’re going to have to fight,” but he doesn’t believe “it’s going to happen any time soon.”
Breland, an extremely tall welterweight in his time (over six feet in height) has done exceptionally well with his supersized pupil, but is nearly Wilder’s polar opposite when it comes to personalities. Whereas Wilder has become famous for being loud and brash, Breland is quite and polite. He’s the nice guy to Wilder’s bad boy. Still, Breland isn’t a man to mince words. This is particularly true when it comes to team Joshua. “I don’t think they want the fight,” he says frankly. Breland makes it clear that, while Wilder is forever calling out Joshua whenever he fights, “when Joshua fights, he doesn’t talk.”
The perceived lack of a mutual eagerness to get in the ring hasn’t gone unnoticed. And while few would accuse Joshua of being fearful of Wilder, Breland feels the Joshua camp’s sentiment is “he doesn’t need Deontay. Deontay needs him.” Breland points out, however, that Wilder holds the WBC belt, long regarded as the crown jewel of boxing titles. “He’s got the top belt,” Breland says of Wilder, knowing that, without it, Joshua will never be seen as a completely dominant champ. In the meantime, Breland feels as if Joshua won’t be facing the kind of competition he should. “Ortiz,” he points out as an example. “That’s one fight they will not take.”
Although Wilder is the biggest fight that can be made at heavyweight, Breland believes team Joshua, led by Joshua and promoter Eddie Hearn, are clearly willing to buck fan sentiment, at least for the time being. “They want Deontay to fight somebody else,” he says.
Are We Past the Main Stumbling Block for Wilder vs. Joshua?
By: Bryant Romero
Deontay Wilder and his team according to reports have finally agreed to an offer presented them to fight Anthony Joshua in the United Kingdom sometime later this year. This has been the main stumbling block in the very public negotiations between the two heavyweight champions. Obviously, the teams of both fighters want home field advantage for their respective fighter, since the one who has to travel would be at a clear disadvantage. Still, there is a clear A-side in the fight and that is Anthony Joshua who has insisted that fight with Wilder must take place in the UK, which is why negotiations have been difficult because of the location of where this fight will take place.
Now that finally Wilder and his team have agreed to terms for a bout in the UK, it would seem that this fight would no longer have complications in getting made for this year. However, promoter Eddie Hearn claims to have made this offer about 4 weeks ago and he is shocked to have finally heard back from Wilder. Hearn told the boxing media earlier this week that Wilder will be presented with a contract by the end of this week to fight Anthony Joshua. Perhaps Wilder knowing that Joshua is close to striking a deal with mandatory challenger to fight Alexander Povetkin in the fall hangs in the balance and doesn’t want to lose a gigantic payday for fear that Joshua could lose to Povetkin. Or Perhaps Wilder has come to realization that the risk is worth taking in traveling to fight Joshua since the alternatives for the Bronze Bomber are neither attractive nor the most financially lucrative.
Whether Wilder could potentially make more money by luring Joshua to the U.S. is up for debate, especially since Wilder would have to guarantee $50 million up front to Anthony Joshua who has never fought in the United States and has no proven track record of being a PPV draw here as well. The fact is even Deontay’s biggest supporters would be disappointed in the Joshua fight not getting made next, just to see Wilder take on Dominic Breazeale instead.
Wilder has long been criticized for the quality of his opposition and even though he got the win he much needed over a very dangerous Luis Ortiz, it’s Joshua who just 21 fights has already surpassed Wilder in accomplishments and names under his belt. Wilder needs this fight much more for his legacy and the chance to become the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world.
Wilder vs. Joshua Unification Appears Likely
By: Eric Lunger
Can you say, “super-fight?” Can you say, “heavyweight unification in the UK?” Reports emerging late today from ESPN indicated that WBC Champion Deontay “the Bronze Bomber” Wilder has accepted terms offered by Eddie Hearn, who, of course, represents the undefeated WBO, WBA, IBF and IBO champion Anthony Joshua. That’s all four major belts, and the IBO belt thrown in for good measure.
ESPN reports that Shelly Finkel, Wilder’s manager, has “officially agreed to terms” with Eddie Hearn for a two-fight deal, with the first to take place in the UK, and a guaranteed rematch in the United States. Finkel was quoted that a contract was requested for signing, meaning that an agreement has been made verbally but details remain to be ironed out in writing. No mention of percentages was made.
So, the done deal is not done yet, but there is reason for sunny optimism. As to be expected, the irrepressible American champ let forth with a characteristic twitter blast: “the $50M offer for him to fight me next in the US is still available. Today I even agreed to their offer to fight Joshua next in the UK. If he prefers the fight in the UK, the ball is in their court.”
Joshua’s last outing was a twelve-round decision over talented and durable Joseph Parker of New Zealand. Previously undefeated, Parker relinquished his WBO belt to the charismatic British champion on consistent cards (118-110, 118-10, 119-109) in a competitive bout in Cardiff, Wales, in the end of March of this year. This fight ran Joshua’s record to an impressive 21-0, with 20 KOs.
Wilder’s last bout was an emphatic dismantling of heavyweight bogey man, and previously undefeated, Luis Ortiz of Cuba, also in March of this year. Wilder, now 40-0 with 39 KOs, has made no secret of his wish to face Joshua.
While both men boast stellar records, there is a sense among some in the fight game that Joshua is far from a fully polished fighter, while Wilder remains dynamically dangerous but flawed defensively.
Nonetheless, Joshua is a charismatic champion, a British fighter who wears his Nigerian roots proudly – both metaphorically by the way he comports himself and literally with his tattoos. Wilder can be brash and over the top at times, but he came into the sport in order to support his daughter, who was diagnosed with spina bifida. This is a match-up where both men are real role models. This is a match-up with passionate fans on both sides. This is UK vs US. Can you say, “Super-fight?”
Deontay Wilder Reportedly Agrees To Terms For Anthony Joshua Superfight
By: Sean Crose
🚨BREAKING NEWS🚨 for all you @anthonyfjoshua fans… The $50M offer for him to fight me next in the US is still available. Today I even agreed to their offer to fight Joshua next in the UK. If he prefers the fight in the UK, the ball is in their court. It’s up to them to choose. pic.twitter.com/03PE8sk5x0
— Deontay Wilder (@BronzeBomber) June 11, 2018
“BREAKING NEWS for all you @anthonyfjoshua fans… The $50M offer for him to fight me next in the US is still available. Today I even agreed to their offer to fight Joshua next in the UK. If he prefers the fight in the UK, the ball is in their court. It’s up to them to choose.”
The above was tweeted out Monday by WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder, who was making it clear that he he accepted Anthony Joshua’s terms to fight in England for his title, along with Joshua’s WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight titles.
Photo Credit: Deontay Wilder Twitter Account
According to ESPN, Wilder’s co-manager, Shelly Finkel, stated the following on Monday: “We have agreed to the terms that Eddie has put out to us for a fight in the U.K.. Deontay has accepted his terms to fight in the U.K. Deontay sent an email to Joshua (Sunday) night and I sent one today to Barry Hearn and Eddie telling them that we officially accept the offer to fight under the terms they gave us and to send us the contract,”
As Wilder said, the ball is in the court of team Joshua now. Britain’s Joshua is considered the current king of the heavyweight division. Not only does he hold a majority of the prominent belts, his victory in a war over onetime long reigning division king Wladimir Kltischko established the fighter as the man to beat throughout the fight world. Yet America’s Wilder has been standing in the way of Joshua’s complete dominance. The fact that both men are the height of NBA stars and have devastating knockout power will make the bout, should it happen, a must see for fans – even casual fans.
The Joshua-Wilder deal, should it come to fruition, will consist of two fights, the first being held in England, the second in the United States. Joshua now regularly packs entire stadiums in his homeland and it would be no surprise if a match with Wilder would bring in a live audience of close to one hundred thousand people. The first fight would reputedly transpire this autumn.
The internet was set ablaze with today’s news, with some journalists and analysts acting as if the fight was already a done deal while others encouraged caution. The fact that a fight between two of the most exciting athletes in the world got so much closer to fruition, however, was enough to get pundits and fans alike talking.
Joshua Asking for A Two Fight Deal with Wilder
By: Ken Hissner
Just when you think you have heard everything WBA, WBO, IBF & IBO Heavyweight Champion Anthony “AJ” Joshua announced over ESPN Radio recently he wants a “2 fight deal with Deontay, “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder.
First one will be in the UK possible Wembley Stadium in London holding 100,000 seats. The second one in the USA possibly Texas Stadium in Dallas, Madison Square Garden, NY, or Las Vegas have been mentioned.
Photo Credit: Anthony Joshua Twitter Account
What Joshua, 21-0 (20), of Watford, UK, doesn’t realize if it turns into another Joshua-Joe Parker sparring session who would pay to see a second one? Wilder, 40-0 (39), of Tuscaloosa, AL, waited until who this writer considers “the most dangerous heavyweight in the world” Cuban Louis “King Kong” Ortiz, 28-1 (24), of Miami, FL, punched himself out before he went on the offense. There will be no rematch from the Wilder team.
Joshua’s last two fights have been “lack luster” after what was his most exciting bout against former world champion Wladimir “Dr. Steelhammer” Klitschko in April of 2017 when Joshua had to come off the canvas to stop his 41 year-old opponent in the eleventh round to retain his IBF, IBO, WBA titles.
After struggling to stop late substitute Carlos Takam, 35-4-1 (27), from the Cameroon now residing in Seine-Saint-Denis, FR. Takam had been knocked out by former Olympic Gold Medalist Alexander “Russian Vityaz” Povetkin, of Chekov, RUS, then 27-1, in 2014, now 34-1 (24), who in March knocked out UK’s David Price, 22-4 (18), as the co-feature of the Joshua-Parker main event. Povetkin is the No. 1 contender in both the WBA and WBO and a likely opponent for Joshua if the Wilder bout doesn’t materialize.
Wilder’s No. 1 WBC contender if Jamaican Dillian “The Body Snatcher” Whyte, 23-1 (17), of London, UK. In his last bout he won the WBC Silver title knocking out Lucas “Big Daddy” Browne, now 25-1 (22), from Sydney, AUST, in a lopsided bout in March.
Whyte called out Wilder after the victory over the previously unbeaten Browne. Wilder coming to the UK to fight Whyte and Joshua in the main event of the same show defending against Povetkin would be the only reason to delay a Joshua-Wilder bout in the UK. Ortiz was the first No. 1 contender Wilder has defended against in his seven defenses. In November of 2017 he destroyed an out of shape Haitian Bermane “B.WARE” Stiverne, now 25-3-1, in 2:59 of the first round. Stiverne is the only Wilder opponent to have gone the distance with him in January of 2015.
The best situation would be in the Main Event Joshua against Wilder in the UK for all the titles with Povetkin and Whyte in the co-feature fighting the eliminator to meet the winner of the main event within six months.
Fury Responds to Klitschko, Shows Respect for Joshua and Wilder
By: Ciaran O’Mahony
Former heavyweight world champion Tyson Fury has shrugged off Wladimir Klitschko’s claims that he will lose to Anthony Joshua and disappear from boxing “like a fart in the wind”.
Speaking to Michelle Joy Phelps of Behind the Gloves, Fury was unmoved by his former adversary’s words, stating “well that’s typical Wladimir Klitschko, he would never be able to give me the credit that I deserve.”
It’s no secret that Klitschko isn’t a fan of the “Gypsy King”, who constantly tormented him in the build-up to their world title fight nearly three years ago.
Fury rubbed further salt into the wound by comprehensively out-boxing him in Cologne and says “even on the night in Germany he couldn’t make the effort to say he lost to a better man and he did.”
“He didn’t just lose, he got played with. Like I’ve said time and time again, if that’s the so-called super-champion, he got beaten by a fat man so how dare he talk to me like that,” Fury says.
Klitschko says Joshua will beat Fury because he has more desire and discipline than the Manchester native.
However, Fury feels that the Ukrainian is only backing “AJ” because he has a better relationship with him and says the former lineal heavyweight champion is still bitter about losing to him all those years ago.
“I’m sure him and Joshua are chum buddies and they support each other, but in hindsight we know who gave Wladimir the hardest fight,” he says.
“Joshua won by the skin of his teeth and had to climb off the canvas, Wladimir couldn’t land a punch on me in 12 rounds,” according to Fury.
Prior to his hiatus from the sport, Fury had a reputation for trash-talking his opponents and getting under their skin.
However, he has had plenty of nice things to say about Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder recently.
“I think they’re very fine specimens of men, they’re very good looking, they’re very athletic and they’re very good boxers,” he says.
“They’ve come from nothing and I’m so proud that they’ve changed their stars, their family, everything. I’m sure they’re getting everything they’ve ever dreamed of,” Fury says.
He bears no ill-will towards either fighter and hopes that they will be set for life by the time their careers are over.
“People are talking about $50 million, I think they deserve $250 million. Any fighter that gets in there and gets punched in the face for a living deserves a lot more than they ever get,” he says.
“It’s the hardest sport in the world, not just physically and mentally, but also being away from your family, being locked away in training camps,” according to Fury.
“The public don’t understand how much pain, torture and sacrifice is needed to get to that level of success,” Fury says.
Fury believes that Wilder will prevail when they finally face each other in the ring, however, as he holds a speed advantage.
“Wilder’s very quick and very accurate and he’s very dangerous,” he says.
“Anthony is dangerous too, but I just think the speed factor favours Wilder and the fighter who gets there quicker and first will be Wilder for me,” according to Fury.
He has had a tense relationship with Joshua in the past, but Fury insists he is not biased.
“I don’t like either of them more than the other. I know Joshua, I know Wilder, and I’ve met them both face to face. I like them equally,” he says.
“It is a heavyweight bout and anything can happen while they’re in there, but if I was putting 20 quid on it, I’d put it on Wilder to win,”
If the fight materializes, Fury will certainly be watching with interest as he is likely to face one or both men in the future.
Lopez vs. Cruz Headlines a Full PBC Card Saturday Night
By: Eric Lunger
Saturday night on Fox, Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) presents a triple-header from the Don Haskins Center in El Paso, TX. In a classic crossroads matchup, veteran Josesito Lopez takes on undefeated prospect Miguel Cruz in a ten-round welterweight clash, while Anthony Dirrell and Abraham Han are set for ten rounds at super middleweight. The televised card opens with featherweights Jorge Lara and Claudio Marrero.
Photo Credit: Premier Boxing Champions Twitter Account
Lopez (35-7, 19 KOs) has been in the ring with quality opposition, including a losing world title effort against Canelo Alvarez in 2012. In that same year, however, Lopez stopped Victor Ortiz in nine rounds, his most notable win. Since then, the Riverside, CA, native has posted mixed results, with losses to Marcos Maidana and Andre Berto, but he comes into Saturday night’s looking to continue his two-win streak. Lopez is an aggressive and fan-friendly fighter who is willing to take risks. Confident and relaxed, Josesito just finished a solid camp with renowned trainer Roberto Garcia: “this is the kind of fight I can really display my skills,” Lopez said at the pre-fight press conference, “I am prepared for anything Saturday night.”
For Miguel Cruz (17-0, 11 KOs), Saturday night is a huge opportunity. With only three ten-rounders under his belt, Cruz is relatively untested. His last two outings were unanimous decision wins, over Alex Martin last June and David Grayton in November. At five-foot-eleven, Cruz will have a two-inch height advantage over Lopez and a five-inch reach surplus. “I have to be smart and execute my game plan round after round,” Cruz said, “my jab will be key, and if I can use that and wear him down to the body, I think I’ll have a great chance to stop him.”
In the co-feature, former middleweight Champion Anthony Dirrell (31-1-1, 24 KOs) looks to continue his climb back into contention after a gritty sixth-round stoppage of Denis Douglin in November of last year. Two years ago, Dirrell lost his belt by majority-decision to Badou Jack, and he later stopped future IBF champion Caleb Truax in round one of their 2016 bout, so Dirrell knows what he can do, and he knows he belongs in the mix at the top of the 168 weight class. “Everybody knows I am a championship caliber fighter, and I’ll prove it again on Saturday. After this fight I’m ready to take on any of the super middleweight champions,” Dirrell said.
Abraham Han (26-3-1, 16 KOs) is an El Paso native, and is excited to fight in front of his hometown fans. Han’s most notable win was over Marcos Reyes in November of 2014, a ten-round majority decision. Han comes into Saturday night’s bout riding a three-fight win streak, with two recent knockouts and one no-contest due to a head butt. “I hope the sport fans of El Paso come out and watch me put on a great performance,” said Han in the press conference this week. “I know the type of challenge I have in front of me, but I also know I have the skills to pull this off.”
The action will start with a televised undercard feature, pitting heavy-handed Mexican Jorge Lara (29-0, 21 KOs) against Claudio Marrero (22-2, 16 KOs) of the Dominican Republic. With a combined seventy-percent knockout rate, this bout is unlikely to go the full distance.
The action begins live on FOX and FOX streaming 8:30 ET/5:30 PT.
Joshua vs. Wilder: Who Wins?
By: Ciaran O’Mahony
Boxing fans have been spoiled over the last month with many of the heavyweight division’s biggest names in action, including Anthony Joshua, Deontay Wilder, Joseph Parker, Luis Ortiz, Alexander Povetkin, Dillian Whyte and Lucas Browne. All eyes were on Joshua and Wilder though as they faced major tests that could derail their highly anticipated unification bout.
Of all the heavyweights in action, Joshua was the biggest winner, adding another heavyweight belt to his collection with a solid but uninspiring victory over Joseph Parker at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff last week.
Boxing purists praised Joshua’s performance as he fought a safe and intelligent fight against a dangerous opponent. He kept Parker on the end of his jab, nullified his speed advantage and landed the cleaner, harder shots, while keeping himself out of harm’s way. Parker had his moments but he never really got going, struggling to close the distance or do any damage on the inside.
Joshua has been hailed as the future of the heavyweight division for some time and his latest victory will keep that hype and momentum going, but this was not the type of performance we expected.
He came into the fight with a reputation as a knockout artist, but it’s safe to say fans felt a little underwhelmed by the fight. Many predicted that it wouldn’t go the distance and Joshua’s perfect knockout record as well as his epic war with Waldimir Klitshcko, gave us reason to believe it would be a brutal, action-packed affair. Add in the animosity between both camps and you’d be forgiven for expecting Joshua and Parker to slug it out, toe-to-toe, until only one of them was left standing.
Nonetheless, Joshua got the job done, coming through unscathed and showing another dimension of his game. It turns out he’s not just a power-puncher, he’s one of the best pure boxers in the heavyweight division.
For all the positives though, the fight also suggested that Joshua may not be able to dominate the division’s truly elite fighters the same way he did lesser opponents.
Wilder claimed the most important victory of his career against the undefeated Cuban, Luis Ortiz, at the Barclays Center, New York, just a month ago. Many felt this would be a difficult test for the bronze bomber, who had been criticised for facing weak opposition in the past.
Ortiz was avoided by all of the big names in the division due to his excellent amateur pedigree, boxing ability and knockout power. All of these attributes were evident on the night as Wilder struggled to figure the Cuban out and found himself in trouble on a number of occasions. For the first five rounds he struggled to land anything of note on the Cuban, who controlled the pace of the fight and forced him backwards constantly.
Then in the seventh round, Wilder was rocked multiple times and found himself trapped on the ropes, desperately hanging on amid a flurry of brutal shots from Ortiz. Although he survived, he seemed headed for a loss on points until he stopped the Cuban in the 10th round.
Like all great champions do, Wilder overcame adversity, patiently waiting for the opening he needed, even as the 12th round drew nearer. He didn’t panic or let his frustrations get the better of him while he was being outboxed.
The American was clearly confident that the opening he was looking for would eventually come and when it did, he made Ortiz pay. In the end, the fight didn’t tell us anything new about Wilder’s strengths and weaknesses, which boxing experts have picked apart for some time. However, we saw how he responds under pressure against top-level opposition and he passed that test with flying colours.
Strengths and weaknesses of both fighters
Wilder is a gifted 6’7”athlete with good speed for his size, exceptional strength, solid cardio and proven knockout power. But many have criticised his technique, particularly the wild, windmill punches he throws when he is chasing a knockout. They are certainly not easy on the eye and Wilder often leaves his chin out when he throws them.
His defence is also poor, leaving him highly susceptible to good counter-punchers who can cope with his attacks.
Despite his length and reach, lesser fighters than Joshua have been able to close the distance against Wilder, which is a major concern.
His weaknesses are well-documented, but Wilder uses his power and athleticism extremely effectively and few fighters are able to survive when he starts swinging at them, wildly or not. The big question mark around him was always whether his power and ferocity could also overwhelm the division’s true elite. His victory over one of the most skilled and feared heavyweights in the world went a long way towards answering that question.
Joshua is 6’6” and has made a habit of demolishing his opponents early, knocking out all but five of his 21 opponents within three rounds.
The consensus among the experts is that Joshua has better fundamentals than Wilder and his ability to control the pace of the fight is one of his biggest strengths.
His string of knockouts are not just down to his power, but also his excellent positioning and tactical awareness. He puts fighters on the back foot and in awkward positions where they are forced to commit to risky shots that leave them open to a knockout blow. This could spell danger for Wilder as ring positioning is one of his biggest weaknesses.
He allows his opponents to walk him down far too easily for a fighter of his size and he gave up a lot of ground against Ortiz. He was backing up so much that he couldn’t land a significant counter and if he does the same against Joshua, he will be in all sorts of trouble.
Joshua certainly has defensive weaknesses too. He looked quicker and sharper against Parker after weighing in 12 pounds lighter than his previous fight against Carlos Takam, but his lack of head movement is a major weakness that could be exploited.
When you are fighting someone as outsized as Parker it’s not as much of an issue, but Wilder has the length and the awkward, loopy style to take advantage of it. Joshua’s poor head movement could also leave him susceptible to Wilder’s underrated jab, which he didn’t use very effectively against Ortiz, mainly because the Cuban is a southpaw, but Joshua is an orthodox fighter. If Joshua fails to avoid the jab, he will likely be vulnerable to a straight right-hand, which could prove fatal against someone with Wilder’s power.
It’s hard to say who will win this fight when it finally happens. Joshua is certainly the favourite, but not an overwhelming one. It’s not quite a 50-50 fight, but it’s pretty damn close.
One thing’s for sure, boxing fans are eager to see these two battle it out for the undisputed heavyweight championship of the world sooner rather than later.
Deontay Wilder International Media Conference Call Postponed
The international media conference call for undefeated heavyweight world champion Deontay Wilder has been postponed and will not take place today at 2:30 p.m. ET.
A new date for a media call with the heavyweight champion will be announced in the coming days. We apologize for any inconvenience.
In the meantime, see below for a statement from Deontay Wilder:
“First of all, I want to congratulate Anthony Joshua on his win last Saturday night. Anthony, I am so glad we finally heard from you on Saturday and that you want to fight me as your next opponent and you want the fight to happen in the UK.
“I accept that challenge and I am ready to come to the UK for my next fight. There is nothing on Team Wilder’s side to prevent me from fighting you next.
“You also said on Saturday that your team is ready to meet with Shelly Finkel and Al Haymon from my side to get this deal done. They are also ready to meet with your team immediately. Let us know when – the sooner the better.
“Thanks Anthony, I can’t wait to meet you in the ring.”
What’s Next for Anthony Joshua and Joseph Parker
By: Oliver McManus
When the dust settled in Cardiff on Saturday night, the 80,000 fans made their way home and the blood on the canvas was wiped clean, there were two people left in their dressing rooms to ponder over the contrasting future career trajectories they were left with.
Photo Credit: Showtime Boxing/Matchroom Boxing Twitter Account
Anthony Joshua and Joseph Parker went toe-to-toe at the Principality Stadium for the unified WBC, WBA, IBF and IBO heavyweight titles of the world in a bruising encounter that saw the British fighting pride move to 21 and 0, one step closer to the title of undisputed heavyweight champion.
Joseph Parker, who fell short in the fight , will have several options following his career high pay day and New Zealand’s first ever heavyweight champion has already seen his stock rise past that of, national legend, David Tua.
For Parker and his promoter David Higgins it was always a brave move to take on Anthony Joshua especially after launching such a strong social media campaign pre-agreement to “bait” AJ and Eddie Hearn into taking the fight. The talk was strong, the game plan was calculated but ultimately not enough.
Truth be told Parker hasn’t particularly impressed in any of his world-title fights; he edged out Andy Ruiz to claim the vacant WBO title in a fight that saw neither styles click; against late-replacement Razvan Cojanu he looked lacklustre; and against mandatory challenger Hughie Fury he looked slow and less than 100%.
Despite this Parker has proven before that he has the talent demanded from world level boxing, in particular with his clash with Carlos Takam, and in the showdown at the Principality on the 31st he certainly enhanced his credentials as a technically supreme boxer – catching AJ with some fast, flashy shots between the 5th and 7th round of the fight, saw his reputation only heighten.
There was no shame in this defeat for the Kiwi legend but what does the future have in store?
Well, unfortunately for Duco Promotions, the pathway is distinctly less clear than if their charge had won but here are three potential options;
Joseph Parker won’t be wanting to restart his journey back to the top of heavyweight boxing by fighting some unknown Hungarian plumber so where better to start with “gate-keeper” Dereck Chisora?
Now I use the term gate-keeper loosely because Chisora doesn’t label himself as such but, nonetheless, Chisora remains in the top 20 worldwide and is guaranteed to come to the ring all guns blazing – especially for a fight such as this would be whereby the winner is almost guaranteed another world title shot.
‘Del Boy’, with 28 wins and 8 losses, would also be a good opponent for Parker to be able to demonstrate his technical ability and enable the former Commonwealth champion to work the body of Chisora, up nice and close, something he wasn’t able to do against Anthony Joshua.
With Eddie Hearn saying he’d like to see Joseph Parker back on British shores and Dereck Chisora promoted by the Matchroom Boxing banner, this fight is certainly more than speculation and would be an incredible encounter.
Big Baby Miller would be a far bigger risk to take for the former WBO Champion with the hotly rated American bringing nearly 300lbs of brutality into the ring; HBO’s heavyweight hopeful is ranked 3rd with all of the WBA, IBF and WBO so the fight would make sense, especially if it were to serve as an eliminator of sorts.
Miller has been a regular feature of Eddie Hearn’s ventures over into America and is next in action on the 28th April against, former Deontay Wilder opponent, Johann Duhaupas in Brooklyn. Should he come through that encounter unscathed then you sense the uber-confident American will want to take on Joseph Parker to really stamp his mark on the world scene.
Why would Parker want to take on the 20-0, 18 KO, behemoth of a fighter? Two-fold, really;
Firstly it’s an easy profile-raiser for him over in the U.S.A, having already made his name in the UK and, naturally, his home-countries of New Zealand and Samoa, the next big boxing demographic to crack is America and by beating Miller there can be no clearer attention-raiser;
And secondly, whilst Miller is a more risky opponent due to his sheer size and power, he also blows hot and cold within his fights and has never, particularly, came through entirely convincing – his size has it’s downfalls as well; he’s not particularly fast!
Let’s wait and see on this one but, heck, it would be a dust-up.
This is certainly less realistic than the two previous names but in Junior Fa there is far more history and romance to the match-up, going all the way back to the amateur days when the two New Zealand fighters faced-off on four occasions.
With two wins apiece the crux of the needle came in their last fight when Fa and Parker took place in a final eliminator to decide who would be the Oceanic representative for the London 2012 Olympic Games – Fa won in a tight grudge match by 11-8 but since they turned professional the anticipation has been growing for what, must surely be, an inevitably tasty bout.
Despite the fact Fa is currently, attempting, to make his name in America with Bob Arum and Top Rank, he’s looked incredibly unimpressive in his last two fights Stateside and would, undoubtedly, jump at the chance to cash-in back on home soil should the offer come from Joseph Parker’s team….
…. WATCH THIS SPACE!
For Anthony Joshua the path is far clearer and he has the, odd, pleasure of being at the mercy of the governing bodies which makes his job – and that of Eddie Hearn – a lot easier. Nonetheless here are his three most likely opponents;
SURPRISE! Can you even mention the two remaining heavyweight world champions independently anymore? The hype surrounding this potential fight was so extreme that Wilder seemed to be mentioned more than Parker in the build-up to their unification clash and Wilder is now the only man in the way of Joshua’s ROAD TO UNDISPUTED.
The Bronze Bomber has drawn scorn for saying he “wants a body” on his record but for all the controversy that the WBC Champ courts, there is no denying the incredible power possessed in the hands of the Alabama-fighter.
Having toppled Luis Ortiz in his last fight, despite very tight scorecards, it was Wilder’s windmill-esque power that saw his Cuban succumb in the 10th round – many, beforehand, were suggesting this was a 50-50 fight and, so it proved, with Wilder coming through his toughest test do date.
For all the talking done by the forty fight veteran, Wilder refused to show up in Cardiff for the AJ-Parker mega-fight and has turned down career high money to face Dillian Whyte in the interlude between a potential unification with Joshua; the BIGGEST potential fight but, let’s be honest, is it likely?
Having brutally knocked out, past-it contender, David Price in the 5th round on the undercard in Wales last week, Povetkin managed to retain his WBO and WBA Continental titles, as well as their respective, number one rankings and is likely to be called as the WBA mandatory any time soon.
The Russian has fallen foul of anti-doping rules in the past but since his return to the ring he has continued to highlight what made him, once, the most feared heavyweight in the world. To boot, and if I can say this, it’s noticeable how less “drugged-up” he looks, for want of a better phrase, so whilst suspicion will always loom there is a renewed belief that Povetkin is clean, again.
Fighting on the undercard of Anthony Joshua was a deliberate move by Eddie Hearn to introduce the 38-year-old to the British public ahead of what would be, inevitably, Povetkin’s final tilt at such prestigious titles – indeed it would be the biggest money of his career.
Povetkin packs a nifty punch and as was displayed in full glory against Price, he is capable of turning up the heat AT ANY MOMENT. Weakness were also displayed so whilst this might be AJ’s most exciting fight, you can be sure he’d be feeling mightily confident against the Russian Vityaz.
Pulev and, his promoters, the Sauerland Brothers will have been banging the door down of the Matchroom offices since the Bulgarian withdrew from his scheduled face-off with AJ last year – a fight that was meant to happen on the 28th October AT the Principality Stadium.
The 36 year old would continue in the same vein as Joseph Parker in seeking to test Joshua’s technical capabilities with the chin of Pulev being one that, should, withstand the pressure of AJ and Joshua may want to face Pulev in order to prove he’s not just an one-trick pony.
Having impressed against Dereck Chisora back in May 2016 to claim the European title, he’s since faced Samuel Peter and Kevin Johnson but, frankly, not made any earth-shattering statements against either man.
His rankings remain strong and The Cobra finds himself 5th the WBC, 4th with the WBA and 2nd with the IBF so there’s no questioning his credentials – unlike some who find themselves within the top 15.
Certainly all the talk before his pull-out last year was that Pulev could have been the toughest technical test of Joshua’s ability with his amateur pedigree bleeding into his professional game plan and, to all intent and purposes, replicating his success.
An eliminator between Breazeale and Pulev for a shot at the WBC Heavyweight title has been called so it looks as though his chance at taking on the pride of Britain is all but gone.
You can hope though, can’t you?
For both fighters involved in Saturday’s showdown in Cardiff, there can be no looking back on what could have been different, on what might have been, eyes must firmly be on the future because Joshua and Parker proved themselves as worthy world champions and whilst it was AJ who emerged victorious and with his undefeated record intact, Parker gained more credit over those 36 minutes than he did across all three of his previous world title fights.
For Anthony Joshua, though, the Road to Undisputed just got one step closer…
“AJ” Anthony Joshua Unifies Titles by Defeating Joseph Parker
By: Ken Hissner
The Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales, Saturday was the host site for the heavyweight boxing unification title bout between WBA & IBF heavyweight champion Anthony “AJ” Joshua and WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker. This Eddie Hearn/Matchroom Boxing event had 80,000 fans in attendance.
WBA & IBF heavyweight champion “AJ” Anthony Joshua, 21-0 (20), of Watford Hertfordshire, UK, decisioned WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker, 24-1 (18), of NZ, living in Las Vegas, NV, over 12 rounds.
Photo Credit:Matchroom Boxing/Showtime Boxing Twitter Accounts
In the first round it was over two minutes before a right hand was connected by both fighters in a round of jabs. In round two Parker continued with his left low while Joshua is the aggressor for the most part. Half a minute left before the first clinch in another round of jabs.
In the third round Joshua landed the first solid jab that landed on the chin of Parker. Parker having both hands to his side gets backed up by Joshua. Parkers punches continue to fall short to the 6:06 Joshua who is two inches taller and a longer reach. Parker lands the left hook to the head of Joshua after a clash of heads. In the fourth round Parker walked into a Joshua left hook to the head. Little to choose between the two through four rounds with little action.
In the fifth round Joshua landed a double jab to the chin of Parker. Joshua landed a left hook to the chin of Parker. Parker landed a right, then a left to the body of Joshua who was scampering away from Parker. Parker landed a good combination to the head of Joshua. In the sixth round during the first exchange the referee Giuseppe Quartarone of Italy for some unknown reason jumped in to stop the action. Joshua landed a long lead right to the head of Parker. Parker ducked under a Joshua right countered with a right uppercut to the chin of Joshua. Joshua countered a Parker miss with a right to the head of Parker.
In round seven Joshua landed a long right to the head of Parker. Once again for some unknown reason the referee stepped in. Inside Parker landed several body shots before clinching. In the eighth round Joshua’s tape is hanging from his left glove and the referee even after separating the boxers hasn’t noticed it. It was two minutes into the round when he finally tried fixing the tape himself instead of going to the corner of Joshua to fix it. Joshua landed a left hook to the head of Parker. Joshua landed a combination to the head of Parker.
In the ninth round Parker landed a double jab to the chin of Joshua. Inside Joshua landed a right uppercut to the chin of Parker. Joshua landed a lead right to the head of Parker. Parker drives Joshua into the ropes with two punches to the head of Joshua. In round ten Parker landed several punches to the body of Joshua and the referee once again steps in for some unknown reason. Parker suffered a cut outside his left eye by a Joshua’s left elbow. Parker landed two left hooks to the body of Joshua. Joshua landed a countering right uppercut.
In round eleven while inside Joshua landed a right uppercut to the chin of Parker. Joshua landed a combination to the head of Parker who countered with a right to the chin of Joshua. In the twelfth and final round Joshua’s right was blocked but left landed to the body of Parker. Joshua landed a right to the head of Parker. Joshua landed a jab and shortly afterwards a right uppercut with the referee Quartarone for some unknown reason jumped between the fighters.
Judge Steve Gray of the UK 118-110, Judge Ian Scott of NZ 119-109 and judge Steve Weisfeld of the US 118-110. This writer had it 114-114 in the dullest heavyweight title fight in this writer’s memory and I’m 74 on Monday. May of 1953 at the age of 9 I watched Rocky Marciano knock out “Jersey” Joe Walcott some 65 years ago but never saw anything so dull. I’ve seen better sparring sessions in any Philadelphia ring. I gave Joshua rounds 1, 4, 8, 10, 11 and 12. Parker rounds 2, 3, 5, 6, 7 and 9. Even Parker thought he lost. His objective was to “go the distance stopping Joshua’s 20 straight knockout streak!”
“I am the unified champion with three titles in a fight of boxing not the slugfest that Parker wanted. I want Wilder next,” said Joshua. “I will have to work harder in the future,” said Parker.
Former WBA World Heavyweight champion Alexander “Russian Vityaz” Povetkin, 34-1 (24), of Chekhov, Russia, knocked out 2008 Olympian David Price, 22-5 (18), of Liverpool, Merseyside, UK, in the fifth round for the WBA Inter-Continental & WBO International titles.
WBA Super World Bantamweight champion Ryan Burnett, 19-0 (9), of Belfast, Northern, Ireland, won a lopsided decision over Yonfrez “El Verdugo” Parejo, 21-3-1 (10), of Anzoategui, VZ, over 12 rounds.
Scores were 120-108 twice and 116-112. Terry O’Connor was the referee.
Former WBA World Lightweight champion Anthony “Million Dollar” Crolla, 33-6-3 (13), of Manchester, UK, defeated Edson “Buba” Ramirez, 18-3-1 (8), of Mexico City, MEX, over 10 rounds by scores of 100-91, 100-90 & 98-92.
Unbeaten Welterweight Josh “Pretty Boy” Kelly, 6-0 (4), of Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, UK, defeated former IBF World Super Lightweight Mexican Carlos Molina, 28-9-2 (8), of Chicago, IL, over 10 rounds for the WBA International title by scores of 98-92 twice and 98-91.
2016 Light Heavyweight Olympic Bronze Medalist Joshua Buatsi, 5-0 (3), of Accra, GH, now out of Croydon, London, UK, defeated Bartolmiej Grafka, 20-29-3 (9), of Katowice, Poland, over 6 rounds.
Lightweight 2016 Olympian Joe Cordina, 7-0 (6), of Cardiff, Wales, stopped Hakim Ben Ali, 19-6 (1), of West-Vlaanderum, Belgium, in 3 rounds for the vacant WBA International title.