Joshua’s Promoter Giving Wilder Negotiations 2 To 3 Weeks Or AJ Will Fight In Nov Or Dec
By Jake Tiernan: Eddie Hearn has put a 2 to 3-week timeframe for when he wants the Deontay Wilder fight wrapped up for Anthony Joshua’s mega-fight in January in Saudi Arabia.
Hearn says if it’s not completed within two or three weeks, he could start looking for a fight for Joshua (26-3, 23 KOs) in November or December.
The Saudis are the ones that are negotiating the fight, so if the deal isn’t done in the next three weeks, it could be a sign that either Joshua or Wilder (43-2-1, 42 KOs) are pricing themselves out.
Hearn isn’t saying who he’d be looking to match against Joshua if the Wilder fight fails to materialize, but Tyon Fury would be a logical name once he finishes with his match against former UFC champion Francis Ngannou.
Negotiating a fight with Fury could be even more problematic than putting together a deal with Wilder. Hearn might as well try setting up a trilogy match against Andy Ruiz Jr.
“If we don’t get that Wilder fight in the next, and I’m not putting a time frame on it, but, I don’t know, two or three weeks, which is no reason why we shouldn’t, we may start looking at a fight in November, December,” said Eddie Hearn to Fight Hub TV about him giving the Wilder fight a time limit of three weeks before Joshua moves on.
Interesting how Hearn says he is NOT putting a “time frame” on the negotiations for the Wilder fight but then proceeds to say, “We may start looking at a fight in November or December” in “two or three weeks.” That sure sounds like a time frame to this writer.
Joshua’s performance wasn’t great
Chris Mannix: “Sergio, on a scale of one to ten, how would you rate Joshua’s performance?” said Mannix to DAZN’s JABS about Joshua’s win over Robert Helenius.
Sergio Mora: “It was a solid but shaky six and a half. I can concentrate on the negatives here, but I like to keep things positive. He got the knockout, and he got it in true heavyweight fashion.
“He got it with that one-punch knockout that we all like to see from the big man, but it took more rounds than expected. Deontay Wilder did it in one round.
“We expected Joshua to do it in three rounds, considering Helenius was a last-minute replacement. But he ended up going to the second half of the fight, and not only that. Joshua didn’t look sure of himself.
“He was lost between styles like they like to say, unsure of himself, a little bit of doubt on his face, maybe a little timid to get hit. A lot of things, a lot of questions were up in the air, but those are the negatives, Mannix. He got the job done.
“So now he did it with Jermaine Franklin, going the distance. He got the big knockout that gets the confidence and the juices flowing. When it comes to a knockout punch, you’re getting that big sensational highlight real knockout.”
Is AJ’s killer instinct back?
“Now he’s getting his swagger back like they like to say. So Anthony Joshua is going to be fine. Derrick James is still a work in progress with him,” said Mora.
“Both of them are learning to build trust with each other, so it’s going to be fine, but if you really want to pick apart, it wasn’t a great performance by Joshua.”
Mannix: “So, I grade him a seven in this fight, and let’s focus on the positive for a minute. I did see signs of development in his second fight with Derrick James, specifically when it comes to the jab, the commitment to the jab, and the placement of the jab.
“He was going upstairs, downstairs a lot with that jab, and he was having an effect against Helenius, busting up that nose, marking up his face. So, I give him credit for that. I also loved how he set up that knockout punch.
“A straight jab to the body over the top, with that right hand, which proved yet again that AJ, even at this stage of his career, still has fight-changing power with one punch.
“What concerned me in this fight was the lack of combination punching, which has been something of a theme for Anthony Joshua over the last few years. Through six rounds of this fight against Helenius, AJ landed 15 power punches.
“Go back to his fight against Wladimir Klitschko, who most people would agree; it was kind of the high water mark for Anthony Joshua’s career. Through three rounds of that fight, AJ had landed 17 power punches.
“So we are seeing just the continued transformation of Anthony Joshua as a fighter, someone that who early in his career against guys like Dillian Whyte and Wladimir Klitschko, was willing to engage, willing to take punches, willing to throw four, five, six, just to get the knockout.
“This version of him, which really was created in the second fight against Andy Ruiz, is a much more cautious version, one that fights behind the jab, throws straight right hands, can still get knockouts but is probably more Klitschko-esque or Lennox Lewis-esque than the guy we saw early in his career.”
Joshua won’t be what he once was
“So I think he was solid. He was a good solid seven, but I don’t know if we’re ever going to see the kind of punishing heavyweight we saw early in Anthony Joshua’s career,” said Mannix.
Mora: “No, and I can tell you, we’re not going to see that punishing knockout puncher that was aggressive, that through combinations, that threw caution to the wind, and actually put himself into position to get hit as well.
“We’re not going to see that guy anymore because we’ve seen what Andy Ruiz did to him. Other fighters have clipped him as well Kubrat Pulev actually hit him a couple of times where; I didn’t like the look in Joshua’s eyes.
“So, yeah, he already got that chin checked, he already got knocked out, he got embarrassed on the big stage. Now he came back and won the heavyweight championship again, but there’s still doubt, and that doubt lingers. Once that doubt enters a fighter’s mind, he’s never the same.
“So he’s forced to evolve into something else. Every puncher, look at Arturo Gatti. Gatti was a blood & guts warrior, but then he had to kind of change a little bit with Buddy McGirt, and start fighting behind the jab. Kovalev, another fighter that went to Buddy McGirt, had to fight behind the jab.
“Fernando Vargas went to Buddy McGirt. He was aggressive in his younger years, then had a fight behind the jab and be a little bit more cautious. It happens.
“Either you get old, or you get clipped. One of those two things starts happening with these champions, where they think about longevity instead of performing and going for the knockout. It happens to everybody.”
Mannix: “That, to me, is a big problem as you look ahead to Anthony Joshua’s career. There is hope that a fight between AJ and Deontay Wilder can get finalized over the next few months.
Blueprint to beat Wilder
“This version of AJ, the way he fights, can’t beat Deontay Wilder. We have seen fighters try to fight Wilder fighting off the back foot, fighting off the jab,” said Mannix.
“A recent example, probably Luis Ortiz in the second fight. Luis Ortiz was winning every round of that fight against Deontay Wilder until he got caught with that big right hand and got knocked out.
“The blueprint to beat Wilder is to go right at him the way Tyson Fury did in the second and third fights. To bully the bully in the ring.
“I don’t think Anthony Joshua has it in him anymore, Sergio, and if you don’t have that in you, go fight Deontay Wilder; take all that money, by all means, but you can’t win.
“You cannot win a fight like that. If you’re just going to jab, straight right hand. You’ve got to go in, you’ve got to engage, you’ve got to throw combinations, and just like Tyson Fury, you’ve got to be willing to eat a couple of punches, maybe even take a knockdown to take the fight and beat Deontay Wilder.”
Mora: “Congratulations, Chris Mannix, you’re not a company man like I thought you were. Yeah, we’re in a great agreement here. I just think we’re not seeing the same Anthony Joshua, and it’s not only aggression. Let’s just throw that out there. It’s also head movement.
“You can’t just be aggressive in your head stays in the same place. You’re still going to get caught. Head movement, body shots, really roughing up the bigger man, backing up the bigger men. Fighters like Wilder they’re not good with their legs, and we saw that with Fury.
“But what did Fury do? He didn’t stay in front of him. He used the entire ring, the upper body movement against the ropes, the jab, tiring Wilder, then wrestling him on the inside.
“These are things Joshua can do. He has the size, he has the speed, he definitely has the power, but this is what got cracked [AJ’s brain & self-confidence]. So the good thing is that he came back with a big sensational one-punch knockout.
“That’s going to feed the old monster to want to do that again. So that’s the good thing. The bad thing is, once he gets clipped, how’s he going to react? That’s what we’re not appreciating or liking, and what we see in this version of Joshua anymore.”
Mannix: “Well, Eddie Hearn had a three-fight plan for Anthony Joshua. He got through the first two, and now, hopefully, comes the big one against Deontay Wilder. We’ll see how that fight plays out.”