American heavyweight Deontay Wilder will NOT fight Anthony Joshua next – instead the Bronze Bomber will face Adam Kownacki or Luis Ortiz in a rematch.
The American’s co-manager Shelly Finkel has ruled out the mammoth bout between AJ and Wilder to unify the heavyweight division. Finkel says Wilder has a full schedule this year with possible fights against Kownacki and Ortiz after the Bronze Bomber takes on Dominic Breazeale on May 18.
Finkel added that they will return to discuss the fight with Joshua in 2020 and did not rule out a meeting with Tyson Fury before the end of this year. Meanwhile Joshua is preparing for his fight on June 1 at Madison Square Garden but his opponent is still unconfirmed after Jarrell Miller failed a series of drug tests.
Wilder’s co-manager Finkel said: “He’s fighting his mandatory now, then we have a pretty full slate for this year, then we will discuss fighting Joshua next year. The name calling, the immaturities that are in the press, they won’t help but won’t hinder making the fight. They are all in the works. There is nothing confirmed at this point, the only thing that is locked in is the fight with Breazeale on May 18. If everything goes the way we hope it will, we will then discuss his next fight.”
Finkel went on to say that he is in talks with Perform Group – which owns DAZN – boss John Skipper and is confident that a deal can be struck for Wilder and AJ to meet in the ring. He added: “I have spoken with John Skipper more than once. Him and I are developing a very good relationship, I’m very fond of him. Those talks will continue, and eventually it will lead to a fight of Deontay and Joshua. I think that on his (Wilder’s) resume, the same as one Joshua’s, it’s a fight that should and will happen, and it’s a fight that will be remembered because there was such a build up, very difficult to make. But the fight will happen and the fans will get to see it.”
Speaking on the rematch with Fury, Finkel said: “He’s someone we continue to speak with as well.The difference is, in the negotiations with Fury, we’re dealing directly and it’s not in the press, there’s no name calling, there’s no gamesmanship. That fight will also happen when it’s ready, which will be in 2019 I believe. If that fight is to happen, it would be a joint promotion. The possibilities out there are immense, it’s just that we don’t want to be dictated to. When the time comes to make the fight, you sit down, say this is the amount of money that is there, let’s divide it in a proportion that is right for both fighters and let’s get it on. None of that will be an issue, at least not from our side.”
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