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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Alex Pattle

Deontay Wilder’s manager offers rare comment on Anthony Joshua fight

AFP via Getty Images

Deontay Wilder’s manager, Shelly Finkel, has said he is ‘optimistic’ that a fight between the “Bronze Bomber” and Anthony Joshua will take place early next year.

Joshua knocked out Robert Helenius in the seventh round on Saturday (12 August), 10 months after Wilder stopped the Finn in Round 1, and a clash between the former heavyweight champions has never seemed closer.

Joshua’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, has spoken positively about negotiations for months, while Finkel has commented on the situation less frequently.

However, Finkel told Sky Sports on Tuesday (15 August): “I am optimistic that a deal can be made for Deontay to fight Joshua in early 2024.”

The fight has been one of the most-anticipated in boxing since 2018, though Briton Joshua and his American counterpart have experienced mixed fortunes since.

Joshua suffered his first professional loss in 2019 when he was stopped by Andy Ruiz Jr, and he has lost twice to Oleksandr Usyk since then. “AJ”, 33, has also outpointed Ruiz and Jermaine Franklin and knocked out Kubrat Pulev and Helenius in that time, though.

Meanwhile, Wilder fought Tyson Fury to a controversial draw in late 2018 before suffering two knockout losses to the Briton. The 37-year-old has, however, knocked out Dominic Breazeale, Luis Ortiz and Helenius in the last four years.

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