Deontay Wilder is open to facing Anthony Joshua in Saudia Arabia this year, says Shelly Finkel

Deontay Wilder is open to an epic showdown with Anthony Joshua in Saudi Arabia this year, says his manager Shelly Finkel – who insists the Bronze Bomber has wanted to fight the British heavyweight ‘for a long time’

  • Deontay Wilder’s manager has opened the door to a fight with Anthony Joshua
  • Shelly Finkel said the bronze bomber had wanted to confront Joshua for a long time
  • Fans are dying to see Joshua vs Wilder, with both no longer champions

According to his manager Shelley Finkel, Deontay Wilder is ‘willing’ to play against Anthony Joshua in Saudi Arabia this year.

Wilder is looking for his next opponent after knocking out Robert Helenius in one round last October – and fans are eager to see him step through the ropes to take on his rival Joshua this year.

Both fighters were in talks to meet in 2019 – with Wilder’s team reportedly offering £40 million ($50 million) to host the fight in Las Vegas – but Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn called off negotiations after he had seen no evidence of the prize pool.

At the time, the heavyweights both held the world titles – Joshua held the IBF, WBO and WBA belts while Wilder was WBC world champion. But now both men are trying to rebuild their careers after damaging losses, so with the pressure off the possibility of a match-up has re-emerged.

Joshua and Wilder were linked in a very lucrative and high-profile card in Saudi Arabia last week, with Hearn claiming the £323 million could even see the British star and his American rival face each other on the same night as Tyson Fury vs. Oleksandr Usyk.

Deontay Wilder (right) is ready to face Anthony Joshua in Saudi Arabia this year, his manager Shelly Finkel (left) has revealed

Joshua is looking to continue his rise under new trainer Derrick James before going on to challenge for a world title

Joshua is looking to continue his rise under new trainer Derrick James before going on to challenge for a world title

Finkel spoke about the chances of a fight in Saudi Arabia – which has played host to some big fights in recent years, such as Joshua vs Usyk and Jake Paul vs Tommy Fury – and said Wilder had been after Joshua for a long time. .

“Deontay has wanted to fight Joshua for a long time and is of course willing to fight him in Saudi Arabia,” said Finkel. Sky Sports.

Joshua returned to winning ways at the beginning of the month when he took a unanimous win over Jermaine Franklin, his first win in nearly three years after back-to-back losses to Usyk.

Wilder, meanwhile, lost two consecutive fights against Fury – was stopped on both occasions – before returning to winning ways against Helenius.

It comes after Finkel revealed that Wilder broke down in tears upon learning Joshua had ended talks about their proposed 2019 fight.

Joshua has been tipped to take on Wilder for several years now

Wilder claims he offered Joshua $50 million to meet him in 2019

Joshua (left) and Wilder (right) have been tipped to face each other in the ring for several years now

“I was on the phone with Deontay when it came that they wouldn’t fight us. He cried that he was so upset,” he said the sun. “I bet Joshua didn’t and if he did it was relief. Deontay was on the phone and said “oh no, I gave him everything he wanted”.

Joshua said, “If I get $50 million, I’ll fight.” We offered him $50 million for Las Vegas, but he wouldn’t take it. He didn’t want to fight us, and you know, that’s his prerogative. But he can’t tell the public he doesn’t want to fight Deontay.”

Hearn had a big fight against Fury teased for Joshua next, but after his fighter failed to perform convincingly when he took on Franklin, the Matchroom chief said he wanted him to continue his progress under his new coach.

“You better be honest and say, ‘Look, this is where we are,'” he told the DAZN Boxing Show.

“I need him to have another fight with a level slightly above Franklin, gel with Derrick James, hopefully go in there with a little more confidence to prepare him for Fury or Wilder.”

The Matchroom promoter recently revealed that Bob Arum had contacted him to inquire about rescheduling a Battle of Britain clash between AJ and Fury this summer.

Joshua (right) is trying to rebuild himself after taking his first win in three years

Joshua (right) is trying to rebuild himself after taking his first win in three years

When asked if Joshua would be interested in taking that fight, despite claiming the 33-year-old won’t return to the ring until December, Hearn said: “We’re not ruling that out.”

He continued, “When a big offer comes in or a big site comes in [we will take the fight right away] – unlikely in July. But I just want to see real momentum [from Joshua].

“People need to understand, when you talk about desire, literally this guy still has so much desire after the fight. All he has done is analyze his performance, talk to people, watch.

Part of him enjoyed Saturday night because he came back in winning ways. He hasn’t won in almost three years. You can hype it as much as you want.

“I will tell the media that if I lose, my career is over.” He knew deep down that his career was over if he lost that fight. I’m so sorry I didn’t take too many risks in that fight.’