Do we still care about Anthony Joshua vs. Deontay Wilder boxing fight? Breaking down requested clash on Fightin’ Words

After all these years, Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder will finally be in the same ring on the same night.

However, the two former champions will not fight one another. Instead, they will compete in two separate contests on December 23: Joshua vs. Otto Wallin and Wilder vs. Joseph Parker. The fights are in Saudi Arabia and air on DAZN PPV in the U.S.

Joshua vs. Wilder is a fight fans have been waiting years for. Speed bumps in their careers have gotten in the way of the clash from happening. The former lost his status as unified heavyweight champion against Andy Ruiz Jr. and recently Oleksandr Usyk, going 3-3 in his last six. Wilder has gone 3-2 since fighting Tyson Fury to a draw in 2018, losing the WBC heavyweight title against Fury in 2020 before being stopped again in the 2021 trilogy fight. 

Why aren’t they fighting one another? The fights for both are against legitimate big men. Wallin gave Fury fans a scare when they fought, almost beating “The Gypsy King” after inflicting a hideous cut, and Parker is a former world champion himself. If the goal is for them to fight in March, per Mike Coppinger, and potentially face the winner of the February clash between Fury and Usyk, how risky is it to have Joshua and Wilder compete against Wallin and Parker? 

If either one of those fighters loses, does it kill fan interest? Or is it still a fight people would want to see? Would a non-title fight result in a bigger payday than when they were actually champions? Joshua may not be in his prime, but he is still a popular fighter. Wilder still has deadly knockout power. The heavyweight division has been in a bit of limbo for a while. Along with the undisputed fight between Fury and Usyk, Joshua vs. Wilder would be an overdue remedy.

WATCH: Anthony Joshua, Deontay Wilder fight card, exclusively live on DAZN

On this episode of Fightin’ Words, The Sporting News’ Karisa Maxwell and Tom Gray talk about the Day of Reckoning card, along with the following topics: 

  • Discussing how big of a miss it would be for boxing if Joshua and Wilder never fought
  • Expectations for the fight card on December 23, comparing them to Don King events
  • Early predictions for Anthony Joshua vs. Deontay Wilder

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