Deontay Wilder and Anthony Joshua look set to collide in a $250 million super fight — and if it goes ahead, the winner will be clear

Deontay Wilder is undefeated in 40 fights — but he has only really been tested once. Getty Images
  • Heavyweight boxers Deontay Wilder and Anthony Joshua look set to collide in a super fight this year.
  • Both boxers are undefeated, hold at least one version of the heavyweight championship, and have explosive power.
  • But should they share a ring in 2018, there will be only one winner – Anthony Joshua.

After knocking out Luis Ortiz on March 3, World Boxing Council (WBC) heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder is ready to fight Anthony Joshua, who holds both the World Boxing Association (WBA) and International Boxing Federation (IBF) heavyweight titles.

The only obstacle in Joshua’s way is his upcoming fight with World Boxing Organisation (WBO) champion Joseph Parker on March 31. But should Britain’s Joshua beat Parker, like he has every opponent to date, then it sets up a super fight with America’s Wilder.

This means that first time in the history of the division, all four of the major heavyweight world titles – WBC, WBA, IBF, and WBO – would be on the line.

Joshua’s representative Eddie Hearn, the most powerful promoter in British boxing, told CBS Sports that there is “every chance” Wilder and Joshua will come to blows this year.

And if the fight is worth a quarter of a billion dollars (£180 million) like former two-weight boxing champion Evander Holyfield says it is, then Joshua should take the money and run.

Here’s why…

Deontay Wilder has questionable technique

Yes, Wilder has hit some opponents so hard that they have collapsed unconscious on the ring floor. And yes, Wilder has a terrifying record of 40 wins from 40 fights (39 by knockout). But, despite all his victories, Wilder still struggles to win over the experts.

World middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders tweeted that the 32-year-old is too “wild” to survive in a head-to-head with Joshua, after he watched the American labour to victory over Ortiz.

And The Guardian’s boxing correspondent Kevin Mitchell says Wilder is “naive” in the ring, a “flawed drawcard,” and “will sooner or later be acquainted with the floor… with Joshua standing over him.”

Even American observers say Joshua is the superior fighter. For instance, former Mike Tyson trainer Teddy Atlas, who provides fight commentary for ESPN, told journalists last year that “Wilder is the best pure puncher [but] Joshua was the better amateur fighter.”

He added: “Wilder has power – it’s his best asset. But Joshua is more polished and better technically.”

What is it that Wilder does so badly?

Well, he throws punches so hard that he often finds himself off-balance. And when he moves into defence he fails to produce a suitable guard, flailing his hands in the air, and leaving his entire face exposed.

You can see for yourself right here:

It is basic boxing fundamentals to “defend yourself at all times,” but Wilder struggles to do this. When he is off-balance, with his chin in the air, it leaves him vulnerable to a knockout from an elite, polished champion like Joshua.

Anthony Joshua
Anthony Joshua toppled Wladimir Klitschko in 2017. Getty Images

According to BBC writer Ben Dirs,Joshua is as “nasty as any heavyweight since Mike Tyson” in the late 1980s. Even Tyson himself was impressed with the way Joshua toppled Wladimir Klitschko in 2017. Tyson expects the British boxer to dominate the division for years because of the “intestinal fortitude” he possesses.

Joshua has nastiness, intestinal fortitude, and has beaten a higher calibre of opposition than Wilder. With an Olympic gold medal compared to Wilder’s bronze, Joshua has a greater amateur background. He is also a more well-rounded competitor and has superior technique.

If the Wilder and Joshua fight goes ahead, Joshua will be the clear winner.