Deontay Wilder’s manager Shelly Finkel has admitted the heavyweight is willing to face Anthony Joshua or Oleksandr Usyk.
Wilder has yet to compete in the ring since coming up short in a brutal trilogy bout with Tyson Fury last year. Despite initally being linked with retirement, it is looking increasingly likely that the ‘Bronze Bomber’ will return despite refusing to commit to his previous vow to make a comeback.
The American star has retained his status as the leading contender with the WBC and will likely pursue a quickfire shot at a world title if he elects to return. Finkel believes Wilder may be forced to wait for Joshua if he defeats Usyk with the inevitable challenge of Fury likely more tempting. “Maybe the winner of Usyk and Joshua,” Finkel responded when asked about potential opponents for Wilder in an interview with Planet Sport. “I don’t know what Fury is doing?
“Maybe if Joshua wins it’s a huge fight in the UK (between those two) – there’s so many intangibles so we’re looking to see what happens in that fight (Usyk and Joshua). I don’t care what Fury says, we’re waiting to see what he really wants to do because if he wants to fight the winner then he’s going to get it. But after that, where are the top guys? There’s only four real top guys in the heavyweights right now – Usyk, Joshua, Fury and Deontay [Wilder].”
Joshua will first have to progress beyond Usyk who he lost his unified titles to in devastating fashion last September. If Joshua can regain his unified crown, it is likely he will search for a renewed undisputed title clash with Fury after the ‘Gypsy King’ was forced to pursue Wilder last year.
Wilder has come close to facing Joshua on multiple occasions in the past but Joshua rejected a lucrative deal, before the American later turned down another opportunity in favour of meeting Fury. Several opponents will likely state their claim to meeting Wilder if he does elect to make a comeback later this year.
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Boxing promoter Frank Warren has claimed that Wilder will likely share the ring with Robert Helenius in a planned return this October. But Wilder has yet to be entirely convinced of stepping back beyond the ropes and believes any return will not be motivated by finances or legacy.
“I’m definitely considering coming back,” Wilder told Premier Boxing Champions. “This is something that we’re trying to figure out and get things situated. I hear this all the time from a lot of top people inside and outside of boxing.
“I never have to return to boxing again in my life, I have set my life up and as I was running my career I dictated how I want things to go. And as I went along I made a series of smart investments and I don’t ever have to return again.”