Anthony Joshua speaks on Deontay Wilder
Since February 22, when he lost his WBC title in devastating fashion, Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder (41-1-1, 41 KO’s) has been doing a flawless impression of the invisible man. Outside of presumably his close family and friends, no one has seen him in the public light. The thunderous punching Alabaman’s social media has gone dead and he has conducted zero media interactions.
This blistering silence stands in stark contrast to his normally bombastic personality. This is of course the same man who goes everywhere on Earth yelling ‘bomb squad’ at the top of his lungs. Therefore, his overall disappearance from society has done nothing but fill the boxing world with questions. Among those scratching their head is WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO world heavyweight champion Anthony “AJ” Joshua (23-1, 21 KO’s)
JOSHUA WANTS TO KNOW
In a recent interview with Sky Sports, Joshua expressed his general bewilderment over the situation. Like the rest of the world, AJ is left to believe one of two options: either Wilder is focused and hell bent on revenge or he is a broken man. Regardless of which of these possibilities are true, more than anything, Joshua would just like some answers.
“I don’t know, so I can’t speak on everyone’s situation, but just from my humble opinion, after a loss, things change. You distance yourself. The world is cruel. You’ve got to have a thick skin. Either he’s putting together a master plan – he’s in a lab right now, with his science glasses on, studying Fury’s every move. Either he’s doing that, or he’s sitting at the edge of that lake, with his head in his hands and thinking, ‘What’s going on?’”
TURBULENT TIMES FOR TEAM WILDER
No matter how you slice it, this absolute silence is rather odd. No one is saying that he should be front and center on ESPN doing weekly interviews or going live daily. But after eight months of absolutely nothing, the situation does seem strange. A single tweet or posted pic of ANYTHING with a caption, “I’m not dead,” would go very far at this point. Yet, silence reigns supreme.
The quietness becomes even more troubling because quite a bit has transpired in recent weeks that directly affect him. If his third fight with WBC world heavyweight champion Tyson “the Gypsy King” Fury (30-0-1, 21 KO’s) was locked in stone, with a date and venue, that would be one thing. However, that is far from the case. Instead, the trilogy bout appears to be formally off and Fury is aggressively trying to move on. To make the situation even bleaker for Team Wilder, the ‘fight by date’ as stipulated in their rematch clause has apparently elapsed.
If true, the Bronze Bomber has no legal precedent to force the fight. If that is the case, what is Wilder training for? If, that is, he is training at all.
NO MAN’S BIGGER THAN THE SPORT
Of course it is his prerogative to do what he wants. Wilder has already proven that. Yet, even if he returns to the sport, he is dangerously close to making the same mistake that Keith Thurman made. At one point, Thurman was nearly universally thought to be the king of the welterweight division. Then following his March 4, 2017 prizefight with Danny “Swift” Garcia (36-2, 21 KO’s), Thurman ghosted the boxing world. In his personal life, he was dealing with physical injuries, rehabilitation and marrying his new bride.
These are all perfectly reasonable activities to do. However, like Wilder, the talkative and camera friendly One Time disappeared almost completely from the public eye. By the time that he returned two years later to face Josesito Lopez, WBC and IBF world welterweight champion Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr (26-0, 21 KO’s) was now thought to be the new king. On top of this, few even cared to listen what Thurman was talking about. This is still true to this very day.
If Wilder does not speak up, especially if he does not fight Fury next, he is dangerously close to suffering the same fate as Thurman. No matter how many knockouts he has scored in the past, the boxing public is extremely finicky and will turn on a dime. The heavyweight division has a number of great fighters and matchups to be made. Therefore, Wilder is far from immune from becoming yesterday’s news.
For Wilder fans, let us hope that he knows what he is doing…and emerges from the shadows soon!
“Why he hasn’t spoken?’ But when he does speak, we’ll soon find out. For me to make speculation as to why he hasn’t spoken, I can’t because only he knows.”
By: Bakari Simpson