Joshua Vs. Wilder Still Needs Time, Bellew Warns AJ Over His Wilder Tactics

November 15, 2023
4 months

Eddie Hearn has insisted that an Anthony Joshua vs. Deontay Wilder fight still remains a priority. 

According to reports, Joshua and Wilder are planning on getting a fight made in January 2024 provided that all terms are agreed.

However, since negotiations have been ongoing for sometime, it appears that AJ is keen on having a run-out if a Wilder fight cannot be agreed for December or January.

The boxer did admit that it was his intention to fight three times this year. Therefore, another fight under the tutelage of Derrick James would make sense.

Although that may be the case, fans have been waiting for the Wilder clash since 2019. The talks over the fight, then, broke down when an undisputed clash was on the table. 

And yet, this time around there were still some issues that needed resolving. If the Wilder fight does not happen soon and is pushed back later in 2024, Hearn admitted that Joshua would get back in the ring in the meantime. 

Hearn On Joshua

“Everything is kind of agreed other than the signing of the paperwork. We know that takes time, especially in that part of the world. For me the biggest concern is AJ wants to fight in December or January. We know the Wilder fight is not going to happen in December, so we’re happy to wait until January – but if that fight starts pushing back to February or March, don’t be surprised if he still signs for that fight but has another one in-between,” Hearn 

Nevertheless, those words are not going to fill the fans with confidence. It simply appears to be another attempt at keeping Joshua away from the big fights. After all, he was not the same fighter that he used to be.

And at at time when neither fighters hold any belts, getting the fight on should not be as burdensome as it has been. Therefore, unless an official contract is signed or forthcoming, there is still some way to go before a fight is made.

Bellew’s View

Meanwhile, Tony Bellew has expressed his fears over Anthony Joshua’s recent tactics amid suggestions that he could face Deontay Wilder.

Joshua is currently settling in with his new trainer, Derrick James. Thereafter, he secured his second win with the American following a seventh-round stoppage of Robert Helenius.

Thereafter, the talk immediately turned towards a fight with Wilder. Although the latter did express that discussions over a two-fight deal were taking place, which could include a bout in Africa, the talks over a fight have now quietened down.

But if they were to agree to a fight, Bellew admitted that Joshua’s gun-shy approach would not be enough. AJ has seemingly abandoned his combination punching in favour of a more measured style by boxing and moving. That may have gotten him two wins, but for Bellew, such a move against Wilder would backfire.

“Deontay Wilder has got mind numbing power but so has Anthony Joshua, when he throws it. If you force him {Joshua} to throw, which Helenius didn’t do, then it’s a different ball game. I think gun-shy is a little bit unfair, tentative is how I’d describe AJ’s performance {against Helenius}/ In my view I would just like Josh to get back to what he does best, which is to get on his chest and just throw punches,” Bellew

Joshua’s Tactics

Bellew’s approach has shown to be successful against Wilder. Tyson Fury’s performances in the second and third Wilder fights had shown that by going on the front foot, it was possible to negate Wilder.

However, in doing so, Fury had to face Wilder’s right hand. He was dropped numerous times across the three fights. But the approach of boxing and moving by Fury against Wilder was not enough to secure the win in the first fight. And that is something that Joshua will have to keep in mind.

Regardless of what the tactics may end up being, the priority for boxing fans is to see the biggest fights happen. And the longer that Joshua-Wilder does not get made, the more frustration that will emerge. And there is no getting away from that. You can stay up-to-date with the latest happenings in the world of boxing and MMA by visiting boxingblitz right here.