Heavyweight boxer, Deontay Wilder is eager to face Anthony Joshua next and is ready to leave behind a world title eliminator for the bout.
Despite being ordered to face Andy Ruiz Jr for a shot at Tyson Fury’s WBC title, Wilder’s team have said they are willing to bypass that opportunity to face Joshua in the UK or the Middle East.
Speaking to SunSport, Wilder’s manager, Shelly Finkel, made their position clear.
“There are conversations with Ruiz, but that is not an impediment if Joshua will fight us next,” he said.
Joshua is coming off consecutive losses to world heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk, and looks set to return in early 2023.
Meanwhile, the 37-year-old Wilder knocked out Robert Helenius in round one of his comeback fight in October.
Finkel is ready to come to the table with Joshua’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, to strike a deal as soon as February.
“Either February, March or April, whenever they want, I don’t know why Joshua can’t be ready in February, which is three months away,” he told SunSport.
“Joshua hasn’t had any fights in months, Deontay is ready, we’ll fight him in the UK or in the Middle East. Period.”
In the past, TV network and promotional commitments have seen the talks for the heavyweight clash between Wilder and Joshua crash.
But Finkel insisted all parties from their side are ready and willing to come to terms with the opposition.
“Eddie says Joshua will fight Deontay after their next fight, why?” Finkel said.
“They want to fight Dillian Whyte, who yesterday (Sunday) was in a questionable win. The fight before that, he got knocked out, and two fights before that he got knocked out.
He said; “Deontay, Shelly Finkel and PBC are willing to make a fight for Deontay to fight Joshua next.” After Dillian Whyte beat Jermaine Franklin by disputed majority decision, Hearn lined Joshua up for a rematch against the man he beat in 2015.
And the promoter then had eyes on a summer super-fight between AJ and Wilder.
But Finkel questions why the pair of former world champions cannot go straight into the long-anticipated bout.