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- Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder have all but signed a deal to fight each other this fall.
- Wilder, a big-punching American, has conceded home advantage and is willing to fight Joshua in front of 90,000 fans at Wembley Stadium in Joshua’s home town, London.
- Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn is now sending all “the relevant paperwork” to Wilder’s management.
A fight between Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder is close to becoming a reality.
The trans-Atlantic rivals hold all of boxing’s major heavyweight titles between them. They are both unbeaten, possess frightening punching power, and look set to collide in one of the biggest fights of the year.
Joshua won his first world championship, the IBF belt, when he flattened Charles Martin in a dominant knockout victory at London’s 02 Arena in 2016. Since then, he has annexed the IBO, WBA (Super), and WBO titles by defeating Wladimir Klitschko (2017) and Joseph Parker (2018).
The only belt Joshua is yet to win is Wilder’s WBC championship, but there are now three reasons why Joshua may well have the chance to wrest that belt away from the American in a super showdown in October or November.
Here they are:
- Wilder has publicly agreed to fight Joshua and has even conceded home advantage
- Joshua has implied he is “ready to rumble”
- Joshua’s promoter is sending Wilder a contract
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Earlier this week, Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn, group managing director of Matchroom Sport, said that the Joshua vs. Wilder bout could be signed – but only if Wilder agrees to take the fight at London’s Wembley Stadium in October or November.
Previously, it had been suggested that the fight should take place in the US, but Wilder informed his Twitter followers on Tuesday that he is willing to concede home advantage.
Wilder said: “Today I agreed to their offer to fight Joshua next in the UK.”
????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
Later that day, Joshua tweeted a photograph in a gym with the caption “getting ready to rumble.” As the saying “let’s get ready to rumble” is synonymous with big fights, Joshua’s post sent fans into a meltdown with many assuming it meant a fight with Wilder was close to a done deal.
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Hearn even told Sky Sports on Tuesday evening that he will be sending “the relevant paperwork” to Wilder’s management, Shelly Finkel and Al Haymon, having spoken to Joshua and his head coach Rob McCracken.
“[Wilder is] going to be getting a contract from us ASAP,” Hearn said. “It’s obviously the fight we want. There is a lot of sorting out to do for this fight, but great news that in principle he seems to be on board for the idea of coming to the UK for the fight. We’re going to be dealing with it and we’re going to be making sure he gets the relevant paperwork.”
Joshua has fought at Wembley Stadium once before, when he rose from the canvas to beat Wladimir Klitschko to the floor in front of 90,000 fans last year.
Now he may have another chance to return to the site of one of his most thrilling victories.