Shelly Finkel, co-manager for former WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder, is 'optimistic' that a deal can be reached for a long-awaited showdown with Anthony Joshua. (photo by Ryan Hafey)
Joshua was in action last Saturday at the O2 Arena in London, where he scored a vicious one-punch knockout of late replacement Robert Helenius.
Wilder, back in October of 2022, knocked Helenius out in one round.
There are ongoing negotiations to match Wilder and Joshua on a January date in Saudi Arabia.
"I am optimistic that a deal can be made for Deontay to fight Joshua in early 2024," Finkel told Sky Sports.
Eddie Hearn, who promotes former two-time world champion Joshua, feels confident that his boxer will defeat Wilder when the times comes.
Joshua, now trained by veteran coach Derek James, has made several in-ring changes and these days he prefers to box in a technical manner.
Hearn is a big advocate of Joshua's stylistic adjustments - as he believes that type of style will serve him well against a dangerous opponent like Wilder.
“I think that he can beat Deontay Wilder comfortably, but he could also get beat by Deontay Wilder. I don’t think necessarily, I mean, the good thing is he got – what was it – seven rounds in against a tall opponent who can punch a bit with the backhand? I think it’s difficult to replicate certainly the power of Deontay Wilder. But I’ve always felt that AJ can outbox Deontay Wilder," Hearn said.
"I prefer him to box tentatively than his old style against Deontay Wilder. I know he can beat him with that style as well, but I would like to see him box Deontay Wilder, try and break him down. If he lands the right hand on Wilder like that, the fight’s over. And vice versa, if Wilder lands a right hand. That’s why it’s one of the best fights in boxing.”