Heavyweight titlist Anthony Joshua of Great Britain has looked the part of boxing’s next great superstar throughout each step of his progression. His first title defense on Saturday was no different.
Joshua (17-0, 17 KOs), a 2012 Olympic gold medalist, picked apart determined American challenger Dominic Breazeale to the tune of a seventh-round TKO in front of his home fans at London’s O2 Arena.
The combination of patience, poise and downright nasty finishing ability has fans longing to see Joshua against a top name in the division. How about fellow unbeaten titlist Deontay Wilder?
Considering the towering size, explosive power and colorful personalities of both, a Wilder-Joshua unification bout would do big business and command the attention of the entire sport (and potentially beyond). Joshua has been open about wanting the fight, but following his win over Breazeale, it doesn’t appear he wants it soon.
Instead, Joshua mentioned hard-hitting New Zealand native Joseph Parker (19-0, 16 KOs) as a possible next opponent. He also brought up the idea of facing the winner of the rematch between lineal champion Tyson Fury and Wladimir Klitschko later this year. The fight, originally set for July 9, was postponed on Friday due to an ankle injury suffered by Fury.
“[Wilder is an] unbelievable, inspirational person,” Joshua said. “He was patient [on his way to winning] the WBC title. I’m following suit. I’m making my way into the U.S. with Showtime backing me as well. So he watched that, and he can pick up whatever he wants from that, but it’s so different when you are in the ring with each other. One day, we will get to experience what each other is about.”
Wilder (36-0, 35 KOs), who became the last American male to medal at the Olympics when he captured bronze in 2008, joined Showtime’s broadcast team on Saturday and was open about wanting to face Joshua right now instead of waiting.
“If he wants to make his mark in the United States, what better person to try and make his mark against than a Deontay Wilder?” Wilder said. “He said he wanted Fury or the winner of the Klitschko fight in the winter. Why not do it with me? I would love to take that fight. [Joshua promoter] Eddie Hearn said they want it sooner than later. Let’s make this right now.”
Wilder gave praise to Joshua’s performance against Breazeale, despite admitting his preference to see the British star against someone more athletic like himself.
“[Joshua] did everything right,” Wilder said. “He beat him to the punches. He stayed calm in an arena filled with his people. I’m happy for the man. He did a great job.”