The quest for the next undisputed boxing heavyweight champion has been a futile one. The three men in that conversation have been beating around the bush for quite some time now. The two men who have all the belts have moved towards different directions and fought different foes.
One Fight Away
When Anthony Joshua defeated Wladimir Klitschko in 2017, we were one fight away from unifying all the heavyweight championship belts. After all, Joshua had all but one belt and Deontay Wilder has the green belt that Joshua needs to become the undisputed champion. The two camps started to talk and with each passing week, we were getting very excited already. But after a lengthy negotiation, the camps failed to reach a deal., citing one reason or another. Bot blamed the other but regardless of who was at fault, we were denied of the biggest boxing fight in a long time.
When the deal fell off, Joshua was forced to face his mandatory challenger, Alexander Povetkin in September 2018. Joshua stopped Povetkin in 7 rounds but just as AJ was free again, Wilder and Tyson Fury already negotiated to fight each other in December. Joshua announced that he would fight next in April 2019, rousing rumors that the winner of the December 2018 bout between the Bronze Bomber and Gypsy King would be Joshua’s next opponent.
Fighting Around Each Other
But while the Wilder and Tyson Fury fight did not end the way both camps wanted. Fury outboxed Wilder for most of the fight but the American scored two huge knockdowns late in the buy that eventually led the judges to score the fight as a draw. Immediately after the fight, both men called for a rematch. A week later, the WBC said that it would approve the fight. Both camps started negotiations and a date and place was supposedly agreed upon: May 18th in Las Vegas.
With this development, Anthony Joshua became the odd man out again agcas he was left with no April 13 date. But in a sudden turn of events, Tyson Fury signed a deal to fight exclusively under ESPN, putting the Wilder rematch in jeopardy because it was supposed to be carried by Showtime. As it stands now, it appears that the lineal heavyweight champion is headed to a fight with Oscar Rivas while Wilder has been mandated by the WBC to fight fellow American Dominic Breazeale.
The Latest Development
Meanwhile, Joshua is slated to fight Jarrell Miller on June 1st and take note, at New York’s fabled Madison Square Garden. Obviously, Joshua is trying to introduce himself in the US market, by fighting in the world’s most popular arena. According to betmaker Betway, Joshua is heavily favored to beat Jarrell Miller so if the gods are correct, Joshua will keep his belt and wait for the results of the other two. With Wilder and Fury slated to fight tomato can opponents next, the three top heavyweight will end up staring at each other again late this year. The question is whether Wilder and Fury are going to fight in a rematch or will either one of them face Joshua next.
These possibilities would have further clouded the heavyweight picture and put the paths of these three heavyweights farther from each other. But Matchroom’s Eddie Hearn, the manager of Anthony Joshua, recently told SkySports that the possibility of Joshua and Wilder finally fighting each other late this year “has become a realistic possibility”. Oh really? We’ve heard this before from Eddie Hearn and we have been disappointed once. But to hear Hearn say that again makes us want to forget what happened in the past. Could it be real this time around?
We’d love to see Deontay Wilder rematch Tyson Fury. We’d love to see Fury fight Anthony Joshua in Britain. However, the fight to make is really Anthony Joshua vs Deontay Wilder. With all due respect to Tyson Fury because he is the lineal heavyweight champion, the world wants to see Joshua vs Wilder because it is the fight that will be for all the marbles. Joshua vs Wilder will produce the first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis in 2000. It’s been a long time since only one man held the title of heavyweight champion of the world. We are at the cusp of it and this time around, we hope it’s really happening. And let’s hope both Joshua and Wilder are really honest about wanting to fight each other.