Wilder trainer makes bold Joshua fight prediction amidst negotiations

Emotional Anthony Joshua explains erratic behaviour after defeat

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Deontay Wilder’s trainer Malik Scott doesn’t believe Anthony Joshua would last more than three rounds with the Bronze Bomber. Scott has urged Joshua to ‘sign the contract’ for the good of boxing but warns him that he will be in serious trouble once he puts pen to paper.

Wilder’s manager Shelly Finkel and AJ’s promoter Eddie Hearn are understood to be in discussions regarding the blockbuster showdown. Hearn revealed that conversations have been positive but that they are still in the early stages of negotiations.

It is understood that the fight is being targeted for the back end of 2023 after Wilder’s upcoming WBC final eliminator bout against Andy Ruiz Jr and Joshua’s proposed rematch versus Dillian Whyte.

Speaking about the fight during a recent appearance on The Good Fight with Kate Abdo, Scott told the renowned broadcaster that he doesn’t see Joshua standing up to Wilder’s power.

“The mental strength right now may not be there cause he lost two times to a smaller guy,” he said. “So, to go against that specimen called Deontay Wilder, you may need to build yourself up to take on that kind of fight, and I get it.

“But the advantages and the things I see Deontay doing to whatever AJ shows up – mentally tough, not mentally tough – it’s a three-round fight in my opinion. He can’t get out the way.

“Deontay’s just not a guy that’s a big guy that punches hard but he’s slow … no, it comes fast, if you can’t get out the way of it you’re in trouble. And AJ is in trouble is he signs the contract.”

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Wilder and Joshua came close to securing a fight in 2018 but drawn-out negotiations meant that the WBA were able to swoop in and order Joshua to face mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin. However, with both men recently dropping their world titles there are no sanctioning bodies to get in the way and Scott believes the time is now for the fight to happen.

“Absolutely [Joshua should take the fight] because one the fight was supposed to happen, two he just lost to Usyk two times, and three I believe Anthony Joshua is big-time boxing,” he added. “These guys are getting older, let’s make these big fights made.

“I would hate for so much time to go by and we get another Lennox Lewis-Riddick Bowe type of situation. But we can want it all we want but AJ has to want it, his team has to want it and Eddie [Hearn] has to be willing to do legitimate good business and him and Shelly [Finkel] have to commit to make this happen otherwise Deontay is going to do bigger and better things, whatever that may be.”

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