It’s probably not happening next, but this is an update anyway.
Deontay Wilder’s one-punch knockout of Dominic Breazeale has once again stirred up the demand to see the WBC titleholder face WBA/IBF/WBO titleholder Anthony Joshua next, and Chris Mannix has an update on that situation already:
Shelly Finkel says he will see @DAZN_USA Chairman John Skipper. Says he plans to lock in Wilder’s next opponent next week, with Fury, Joshua and Ortiz the three finalists.
It most certainly won’t be Fury and if a deal needs to be done next week, it won’t be AJ.
— Chris Mannix (@SIChrisMannix) May 19, 2019
Finkel, Wilder’s co-manager, meeting with DAZN’s Skipper is all well and good, but as Mannix notes, that doesn’t mean much for the immediate future. If the three finalists for Wilder’s next fight are indeed Tyson Fury, Anthony Joshua, and Luis Ortiz, odds are still that it’s going to be Ortiz.
Fury, of course, is signed with Top Rank and fighting Tom Schwarz on June 15, and he plans to return in September after that before taking a break. Fury and Wilder were ordered to a rematch by the WBC following their draw last December, and all looked good until Fury took a hard left and signed with Top Rank, abandoning the negotiations. Bob Arum’s current plan is to turn Fury into a massive sports megastar in the mainstream through ESPN exposure, although Fury-Schwarz has no real buzz and the fight is also going to air on ESPN+, not ESPN.
Joshua has a fight coming on June 1 against Andy Ruiz Jr at Madison Square Garden, so he and his team are focused on that for the moment. That’s only a couple weeks, though. If Joshua gets through that as expected, it might be in the cards. Maybe. Low percentage shot, but sometimes it’s fun to play along so you can be disappointed later.
Most likely, it’s going to be Luis Ortiz. That’s been the talk for a while now, that Ortiz was next for Wilder. The two had a fun brawl last year in Brooklyn in a Showtime main event. Eddie Hearn, who promotes Joshua, has said repeatedly that he’s been told the plans for Wilder are Ortiz, then Adam Kownacki.
Don’t get your hopes up, but that’s the update.
A bit more, too: Sky Sports did post this interview with Finkel just before the Wilder-Breazeale fight on Saturday.
If you don’t have time to watch, or just can’t, Finkel says the following in regard to Wilder vs Joshua:
“We want to have the rematch with Fury, we want to fight Joshua, we want to fight every important heavyweight out there … At the end of the day, it’s (up to Anthony Joshua, not his team). When Jim Jacobs could not deal with Butch Lewis, Tyson said, ‘I don’t care, get me Michael Spinks.’ That’s when they called me in to negotiate with Butch. If you want the fight and you called us and his side called Deontay and said, ‘Please send us what that $50 million offer was,’ and we sent it. It was his responsibility to take it or admit that he got it. He didn’t do either. He listened to the team, he listened to what they told him, but at the end of the day, it’s his life and his decision.”
“This fight is only going to get bigger. I don’t believe in the thing — which I don’t believe either man will lose — but Pacquiao got knocked dead in the fight with Marquez, and came back and it didn’t affect at all the outcome when (he and Mayweather) met and what they made. This will happen a lot sooner than that. The fight with Joshua will happen, but it’s not gonna happen on their terms.”
“We’re deciding (when the fight might happen) now. We have some other things we want to address also, and at that point we will address this, and that fight will happen.”
“The mistake that they made was they left cards on the table that they didn’t think would be played, and we picked them up and played them with Fury, and it really changed the equation. Since then, even though the fight was a draw, Deontay is way bigger today than he was then. There will be a match that will be made on the right terms, and it won’t be any, ‘Oh, we’re giving you the chance to fight at Wembley.’ You’re not gonna give us anything. We’re gonna put all the money into a pot, we’re gonna look for the biggest revenue, and we’re gonna figure out how to split it. It’s not gonna be ‘you’re giving us,’ because we don’t need you to give us anything. That ship has passed.”