By Keith Idec
Deontay Wilder joked Tuesday that Anthony Joshua and Eddie Hearn must’ve vomited as his fascinating fight against Tyson Fury unfolded.
However Hearn and Joshua actually felt while watching Wilder-Fury, Wilder isn’t interested in his handlers resuming negotiations with Hearn, Joshua’s promoter, for their heavyweight title unification fight. The unbeaten WBC champion feels Fury deserves an immediate rematch following their 12-round split draw Saturday night at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Even if the Joshua fight could earn him more money than a second meeting with Fury, Wilder stated during a conference call Tuesday that he won’t pursue that bout until after facing Fury again.
Wilder fought Fury because his adviser, Al Haymon, and co-managers Jay Deas and Shelly Finkel couldn’t come to an agreement with Hearn for a fight versus Joshua that likely would’ve been scheduled for some time in November. Now that he has experienced a compelling, competitive, inconclusive fight with Fury, Wilder wants his representatives to put all their efforts into arranging an immediate rematch.
“I don’t feel nothing,” Wilder said in reference to Joshua. “I haven’t even thought about Joshua and them. You know, they’re getting what they deserve. They felt like they was the only people in boxing, in the heavyweight division, that people cared about. They felt like they was the only ones that was running this sport. Well, we had to show them that they’re not the only ones. This is a family [sport]. This is a group of guys together, making this thing happen, not just one individual person. So me and Fury came together – we had to show the world what it looks like for the best to fight the best, and look at the outcome. No one has talked about Joshua since I don’t know how long. And we’re planning on keeping it that way, to show them.
“Ain’t no need in them coming out now talking about nothing. We ain’t hearing that. They had their opportunity. They had four months to have their opportunity, but they led people on, they said certain things. And it could’ve been me and Joshua the ones that had this excitement going on. It could’ve been him. He could’ve had many guys. He could’ve had Luis Ortiz. He could’ve had Tyson Fury. He could’ve had me. But their egos got the best of them, so let them continue to fight the second-tier fighters and hopefully one [will] knock him out. Who knows? But we don’t care about them no more. My main goal is on Tyson Fury. I’m looking forward to giving him the rematch as soon as possible. And that’s that. This is the biggest fight, still, in the heavyweight division. This is the most exciting fight in the heavyweight division. And I’m ready to give the fans what they wanna see.”
The prevailing feeling is that more consumers will want to see a Wilder-Fury rematch after witnessing what transpired Saturday night.
England’s Fury (27-0-1, 19 KOs) showed remarkable recuperative powers by withstanding knockdowns during the ninth and 12th rounds to finish their 12-rounder on his feet. The lineal heavyweight champion also put on a defensive clinic against Wilder (40-0-1, 39 KOs), who’s commonly considered the most devastating puncher in their division, perhaps in all of boxing.
Alabama’s Wilder did enough, though, to finish the fight ahead on the scorecard of California’s Alejandro Rochin (115-111) and even on the card of England’s Phil Edwards (113-113). The remaining judge, Canada’s Robert Tapper, scored their fight for Fury (114-112).
The controversial conclusion aside, Wilder-Fury was the type of event Wilder contends made Joshua (22-0, 21 KOs) and Hearn regret making a mandatory defense against Alexander Povetkin (34-2, 24 KOs) on September 22 at Wembley Stadium in London, rather than fighting Wilder.
“Oh, man, they was throwing up,” Wilder said. “They didn’t wanna see this fight do well. You know, he was already trying to downplay it. They didn’t wanna see this fight do well at all. They want to be the global face of boxing – period. They don’t want no one else to be equal to them or come past them. They want to be the main source that everyone goes to. Well, if he wants that to be, he has to be the undisputed, undefeated, unified champion. One champion, one face, one name, and that’s what I’ve been trying to do. If they wanna be singled out, he gotta obtain all the belts and just, he gotta leave no doubt. He gotta leave no fighters left out.
“But they didn’t try to do that. They thought they were better than everyone, and now they can look amongst everyone else talk about everybody except him. You know, it’s a great thing going on. I don’t care what they do. They can continue to fight the people they fightin’. Hey, if he makin’ so much money, then continue doing what you’re doing. Don’t worry about coming out now. You was already in hiding. Now you wanna come out of hiding because nobody’s not talking about you guys no more? I don’t even wanna answer no more questions about him. It ain’t about him no more. He’s long gone. And when they finally come around – enough talking about them. Enough talking about ‘em. I’m just talking about Fury. I’m ready for Fury II, and I can’t wait. The fans have something to look forward to. They’ve got something to talk about now. And I’m happy.”
England’s Joshua is scheduled to return to the ring April 13 at Wembley Stadium in London.
The IBF/IBO/WBA/WBO champion hasn’t picked an opponent for that bout. British rival Dillian Whyte (24-1, 17 KOs) probably will box Joshua that night if Whyte wins his rematch with British rival Dereck Chisora (29-8, 21 KOs) on December 22 at O2 Arena in London.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.