Deontay Wilder has offered his most heartfelt entreaty to Anthony Joshua yet.
Amid rumors that the two former heavyweight titlists appear farther apart than ever to agreeing on a fight deal, Tuscaloosa, Alabama’s Wilder took to social media to address London’s Joshua directly.
Wilder and Joshua have been engaged in talks for the past year but their intriguing match-up seemingly went belly-up when it became clear that their initial backer, Skill Challenge Entertainment of Saudi Arabia, could not come up with the funds to pay both fighters.
Joshua’s promoter, Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing, has repeatedly suggested that the fight could still take place somewhere else, although certain people connected to Wilder have cast doubt on the entire venture. Hearn has hinted at the possibility that Joshua could return to the ring as soon as December, or January, against a “top-15” opponent, while saying that the Wilder fight could happen in the spring.
One thing’s for sure, Wilder, who has not fought in over a year, wants nothing more than to square off against Joshua.
“I just wanted to address two situations...,” Wilder said in a video post. “The thing that has been brought to me is when I’m fighting again, and I promise you guys I’ll be back very soon. It’s just sometimes the business of boxing has to run its course and let it do what it do, but I’ll be back very soon.
“And another thing I wanted to address with a fight that everyone is looking forward to and hopefully happens, and I’m doing everything in my power to make it happen. And I’m referring to the Anthony Joshua fight. So, Anthony, you’re hearing it from my mouth, here personally from the horse’s mouth himself: ‘Hey I’m here, I’m ready, I’m ready to go.'
“I heard some things about what your promoter said, that my last fight only lasted a short period of time (first round knockout of Robert Helenius), that I ain’t fought in a year and he don’t know if I want to fight or not. But I’m letting you know right now, right here, I’m ready to fight, I’m ready to get in that ring, man. Let’s make this the best time of our lives.
“This would be a major disaster if we would never be able to get in the ring and put our stamp down in history, bro. you know what I mean? When people think about classic and great fights, I want them to think about us as well. And being able to do that, we got to get in the ring. That’s just what it’s all about.
“The silliest thing I’ve heard is people saying that you’re not ready. That’s the silliest thing. I don’t believe that. I believe you’re ready. I hope you’re ready. I think you’re ready. Let’s make this happen, bro. Me and you. Let’s make the history happen. Looking forward to hearing your response bro. I’ll talk to you soon.”
Sean Nam is the author of Murder on Federal Street: Tyrone Everett, the Black Mafia, and the Last Golden Age of Philadelphia Boxing.