Deontay Wilder Must Humble Himself Before The Church of Anthony Joshua

By Paul Magno on October 24, 2017
Deontay Wilder Must Humble Himself Before The Church of Anthony Joshua
Heavyweight champ Joshua is everything boxing has said it wanted from its next big star.

At this point, the legion of Anthony Joshua true believers has advanced past cult-like status to the level of a full-blown religion…

At this point, the legion of Anthony Joshua true believers has advanced past cult-like status to the level of a full-blown religion.

But one could do a lot worse than a life of praying at the altar of AJ. If boxing was looking to cast for the role of savior, the 28-year-old appears to be coming straight from central casting. Handsome, well-spoken, charismatic, and with an ever-growing skill set in the ring, IBF/WBA heavyweight champ Joshua is everything boxing has said it wanted from its next big star—and from the look of things, boxing plans to grab on to the affable Brit and hold on tight.

Like it or not, this is Anthony Joshua’s world now.

This is something that WBC titlist Deontay Wilder needs to understand if his goal is to someday face the burgeoning superstar.

“I’ve called Joshua out, he knows what I want. The UK fans know what I want and I want him,” Wilder recently told FightHype.com. “You’re a champion, I’m a champion. The people say you the best, they speak for you. You’re a coward, you can’t speak for yourself. I speak for myself and I say I’m the best. So let’s see who’s the best.”

But it’s not that easy anymore.

With Joshua’s star flying so high and with nobody even remotely in the same stratosphere, putting together a “big” fight is going to require a lot of proud champions and challengers approaching Joshua with hat humbly in hand.

Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn will make sure this is the case, though, publicly, he makes his case much more diplomatically.

“You cannot possibly think that a fighter with the commercial value—like particularly Joseph Parker and Deontay Wilder—should warrant anywhere near a 50% split in that pot, and it’s not being disrespectful. It’s just fact,” Hearn recently told Fight Hub. “But they will, in their head, think, ‘I’m a champion, my belt’s on the line, that is the split.’ If it is, of course, the fights will never happen.”

As fans should be reminded time and time again, boxing is a business and nobody—regardless of how noble and fearless they are—is eager to give up their upper hand in negotiations.

“They’re still going to get absolutely giant paydays from fighting Josh on whatever they’re offered,” Hearn continued. “They’ve got to be treated with respect, it’s not just a case of, ‘There’s a couple million, take the fight.’ But they’ve also got to understand the size of Anthony Joshua.”

Wilder has a belt that Joshua wants and that will earn him some extra money in negotiations, but all the leverage is Joshua’s, whether Wilder cares to accept it or not. Joshua is the one making nearly $20 million dollars a fight at this point and filling soccer stadiums. Wilder is the one earning around a million dollars to fight to packed hometown arenas and modestly-sized audiences on free TV.

Joshua will have the luxury of shopping around and deciding on the “right” opposition until he comes across someone who can either match him as an “A-side” or push him to an even higher level as a “B-side.”

Wilder is almost at that “must fight” level for Joshua, but not quite—not when AJ can still make his $20 million against the Kubrat Pulevs and Carlo Takams of the world.

The heavy-handed American supposedly turned down $3 million—more than double his biggest payday to date—to face former Joshua foe Dillian Whyte in the UK. Hearn seems intent on Wilder jumping at least one hurdle en route to a shot at his fighter. He also seems intent on all things Joshua vs. Wilder-related happening within the UK. 

And if Wilder truly wants a crack at Joshua, he’s going to have to get used to the fact that this is Joshua’s world and that all good things come through him. He will have to rely on the gracious generosity and sense of fair market play of Team Joshua—until he gets a chance to lay hands on the new king and change this boxing world.

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  1. Don from Prov 08:09am, 10/27/2017

    AtK—I’ll agree to disagree as I seem to remember plenty of Klit right hands not having the same effect as the one on AJ.  I also thought that while Wlad finally hung in a fight after being hurt, his caution kept him from the KO.  But that is the beauty of differing opinions/takes on a fight.

  2. AkT 07:24am, 10/26/2017

    * Most fighters who ** have **

  3. AkT 07:23am, 10/26/2017

    Don from Prov - Most fighters who has received a single clean shot from Wladimir have never gotten back on their feet. Almost none of them have seen the round out. In his fight with AJ, Wladimir landed more than once. He didn’t not knock him out for lack of trying, rather he missed some of those shots, was getting tired himself and the round came to an end. He carried on his KO attempts in round 6 but didn’t succeed. should he have continued a full-blown assault in the 6th round and left himself exposed and possibly fatigued through the later rounds? Only WK can answer that.

    one thing, I learnt from that fight though is that AJ does have quick recovery, a strong chin i.e. it takes WK type power to worry him, and has heart - a whole lot of it too!

  4. Don from Prov 07:08am, 10/26/2017

    Here is what I saw when Joshua faced Klit: A big, seemingly strong kid with some power.  But when Wlad actually recovered from a knockdown and fought back, Joshua faded fast, and when Wlad hurt him—and hurt him worse with one shot than I’ve seen a lot of Wlad opponents be hurt—it took Joshua a long long time to recover and manage to mount one more attack—

    And I think he was lucky that attack stopped Klit because young Anthony was rocking and rolling about like the first incarnation of Big George Foreman used to when he was shooting his wad.  I can’t know if the punch Klit knocked Joshua down with was the perfect shot or something, but I am pretty sure from what I’ve seen of him that Joshua might not have much of a chin, and I am sure he has to fight within himself because he ain’t got stamina.

    Wilder and Joshua are, IMO, pretty flawed fighters.
    So, if Joshua is the A-side Meaning of Life in boxing right now, he better grab all the money he can because the man does not, and will not = a great HW—
    Meaning that any number of other super-tanker huffer and puffers could take him out at any time.  These giant heavy-weights are a limited species.

  5. Bashar Al-Assad 01:31pm, 10/24/2017

    Some on here pick Joshua because he just plain seems to be nicer dadgummit!....kinda’ like being “a credit to his race” in times past! Maybe just maybe Deontay just happens to be less of a phoney! Wilder has the better chin and he hits harder with any single punch, which BTW is all that it will take, so let’s not get too carried away with this business of Joshua being a sure thing here!

  6. Kid Blast 10:45am, 10/24/2017

    AJ     =  A
    Wilder =  B

    Therefore AJ calls the shots

    Quite simple Watson

  7. tlig 10:41am, 10/24/2017

    I get the feeling Wilder realizes Joshua holds all the aces and accepts this. I don’t think - though l could be wrong - his financial demands are a stumbling block either. The man just wants the recognition and believes beating Joshua is currently the only way there.

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