After Northport’s own Bronze Bomber outlasted Luis Ortiz in a brutal March slugfest, eyes immediately turned to whether Anthony Joshua would give Deontay Wilder a unification fight.
Though the Joshua camp seemed taken aback by Wilder’s acceptance, it very much appears as though the fight it on:
Wilder’s manager Shelly Finkel told ESPN they had officially accepted terms to a fight in the UK.
He said: “Deontay sent an email to Joshua [Sunday] night, and I sent one [Monday] 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.”
Though the Hearns acted non-plussed, and questioned whether this was a PR stunt by Wilder, Joshua’s camp is sending the contract by week’s end. Among other terms of the deal, one is unsurprising: The fight will take place on Joshua’s home turf in Wembley. The other was a bit more surprising: it is a two-fight deal, with a guaranteed rematch.
Whether it happens in 2018 is anyone’s guess, however.
Joshua has a mandatory defense against Alexander Povetkin scheduled in September that may delay this meeting. “Joshua wants to return to the ring in September or October, and Hearn has suggested the Wilder encounter could be pushed back to February.”
If the Wilder/AJ fight happens first, the unified winner will face a mandatory defense against Povetkin. Either way, we are on the cusp of history — no heavyweight fighter has held all four belts at once.