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Deontay Wilder wants to face Anthony Joshua next in the middle east


Despite being ordered to face Andy Ruiz Jr as a final eliminator for a shot at Tyson Fury's WBC title, Deontay Wilder's team has stated that they are willing to forego that opportunity in order to face 'AJ' in the United Kingdom or the Middle East.


Speaking to World Boxing News, Wilder’s manager, Shelly Finkel, made their position clear.


“Deontay is willing to fight Anthony Joshua next. We would take that fight in the UK or the Middle East, and we will do it next.


“We have the WBC eliminator with Ruiz, and we will do that, but we want the Joshua fight. Eddie Hearn said he contacted me in August, but we had the [Robert] Helenius fight.”


“We announced it that month and said we won’t talk to anyone until after the Helenius fight. Eddie knew this but still said he had contacted us.”


With the proposal seemingly laid at the door of promoter Eddie Hearn, it's up to him to speak with Joshua and see what their 2023 plans are. Following Dillian Whyte's recent win over Jermaine Franklin, it was widely assumed that 'AJ' would face him again.


Finkel is aware of this possibility, but he is urging the British to strike a deal with him instead. Hearn has previously expressed his and his fighter's desire for the fight to take place.


“Now we are willing to talk to make a deal for Joshua next.”


“Deontay wants the fight next. We’ve been trying since 2017 to get the Joshua fight. Let’s make a deal and do the fight. The fans want to see it, so why not?”


“The Ruiz fight is there, and we will do it if we can’t get Joshua. But even if Deontay beats Ruiz, we are still willing to fight Joshua.”


“We understand Eddie could want the Whyte fight, but the fans would like to see Deontay Wilder vs Anthony Joshua, and we are willing to do it. Let’s make a deal,”


While the news is encouraging, some questions remain. Will 'AJ' risk stepping into the ring with one of the sport's hardest hitters after two straight losses and possibly a new training team? How is the rival broadcasting situation resolved? Finally, is it yet another empty promise from the sport's matchmakers?

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