Joshua charged to fight Wilder


By Peter Akinbo.

Two-time heavyweight champion, Anthony Joshua has been urged to take the chance to fight Deontay Wilder in the ring instead of building back up following a second successive defeat by Oleksandr Usyk last August.

Anthony Joshua’s first fight of his career rebuild is set to take place in April against a top-15 heavyweight, with a domestic dust-up with Dillian Whyte expected to take place in the summer.

But British boxing legend Ricky Hatton believes he should take the chance of a high-risk, high-reward fight against former WBC king Wilder sooner rather than later.

“I’d have a little bit of a rebuilding fight to get his confidence, and no one should complain about it,” Hatton told Mega Casino.

“He’s lost his last two fights against Usyk, which is no shame whatsoever.

“Another factor is how hard he took the defeat where he grabbed the mic, and he took the belts out the ring and everything like that. So, obviously, it affected him hard. So, don’t chuck him in at the deep end again.

“Give him someone a bit of a token, you know what I mean? And then go in for the Wilder fight.”

Bronze Bomber Wilder returned to the win column in October with a brutal knockout of Robert Helenius in his first outing coming off back-to-back stoppage defeats of his own to Tyson Fury.

Wilder’s coach Malik Scott is also keen for the Joshua fight as he wants the rivals to settle their feud once and for all.

“You have Deontay and Andy Ruiz mandated for the WBC, but then you have people raving for Anthony Joshua and Deontay to fight, and that actual fight is bigger than the WBC mandation,” Scott told iFL TV.

“We’ll just see. I want Deontay to fight Joshua – I think that’s the biggest fight in the history of the heavyweight division. I want to see them in the ring with each other, because I don’t believe it will go more than three rounds.”

Defeat in his comeback fight will put the final nail in the coffin of Joshua’s glittering career as his promoter promoter Eddie Hearn admitted, “You go into that fight in April and you know that defeat, it’s all over, really.”

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