Shelly Finkel: “Wilder Wants The Joshua Fight Next”

Is Wilder Leaving Ruiz Hanging Out to Dry?

Team Wilder seeks a fight with Anthony Joshua
Deontay Wilder (L), Anthony Joshua (Credit: Nick Potts/PA Images)

Deontay Wilder Seeking to Settle Anthony Joshua Rivalry!

Just last month, it seemed as if Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder (43-2-1, 42 KO’s) and Andy “Destroyer” Ruiz (35-2, 22 KO’s) were set on a collision course. Both men came off as gung-ho about the fight and each are under the same promotional banner which, businesswise, made it an easy match to make. Now however, it appears that Wilder, a former WBC heavyweight champion, is looking to scratch a very old itch. As reported by World Boxing News, if given his preference, The Bronze Bomber would rather trade leather with two-time heavyweight champion Anthony “AJ” Joshua (24-3, 22 KO’s).


In all honesty, this really should not come as a grand surprise. For those in the boxing world, there has been a long and bitter feud between Wilder and Joshua that stretches back a number of years. At one point, the two teams were engaged in an intense, month’s long negotiation that ultimately went nowhere. During that time, Joshua would famously turn down a $80 million dollar guarantee without ever really looking into the validity of the offer.

In fact, The Bronze Bomber was so angered by the whole affair that he vowed never to deal with AJ and his handlers again. Clearly time, and multiple losses by both men, has softened his viewpoint on the matter. Wilder has long since admitted that he is willing to test his might against Joshua, but now one of his advisors, Shelly Finkel, has poured more gas on that view point.

“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. 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.”


Obviously, Ruiz would love to secure the match with Wilder for himself next. Not only is it a fight, being that it is a title eliminator, it also puts him one step closer to getting another shot at a title. Yet, just because these are the current talking points, this does not mean that Wilder will get Joshua next. Just as Finkel explained himself, Wilder’s unfilled desire for that showdown is now five years old. So, let’s see how the boxing politics play themselves out, because whether Joshua or Ruiz both will make entertaining matches for Wilder and the fans.

By: Bakari Simpson

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