Frank Sanchez is tired of waiting.
The undefeated heavyweight contender has fought twice this year, but beat big underdogs in fights designed to simply keep Sanchez active while he awaits a title shot. Sanchez is ranked third by the WBO, fourth by the WBC, fifth by the IBF and 15th by the WBA.
With Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk perhaps committed to two title unification fights after Fury faces Francis Ngannou in an exhibition October 28, Sanchez (23-0, 16 KOs) has set his sights on facing a former heavyweight champion instead. Sanchez informed BoxingScene.com that he wants to fight Deontay Wilder next.
Wilder’s much-discussed showdown with Anthony Joshua seems unlikely to happen without substantial financial backing from investors in Saudi Arabia. And Andy Ruiz Jr. previously priced himself out of a pay-per-view fight with Wilder, which leaves Wilder in need of a credible opponent for whenever he returns to the ring.
“It will be a year before Tyson Fury and Usyk have two fights, and this is too long to wait for a championship fight,” Sanchez said. “So, the next best thing would be Deontay Wilder.”
The 31-year-old Sanchez had hoped to eventually get a crack at Usyk’s WBO belt because he is ranked highest by that sanctioning organization. The Cuban contender even offered to fight American knockout artist Jared Anderson (16-0, 15 KOs) when the second-ranked Anderson moved one spot ahead of him in the most recent ratings released by the WBO.
“Jared Anderson will not fight me,” Sanchez said. “I asked the WBO to help make a fight against Anderson, but I am told at the convention that WBO president Paco Valcarcel asked Top Rank at the ratings meeting if they would allow number two Anderson to fight number three, me, and Top Rank said no.
“This leaves Deontay Wilder. I understand that Andy Ruiz is asking for ridiculous money, so forget him. I will be reasonable with money because I know I will win against Wilder.”
Wilder (43-2-1, 42 KOs), who will turn 38 on October 22, hasn’t fought since he knocked out Finland’s Robert Helenius (32-5, 21 KOs) in the first round last October 15 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. His handlers have spent the better part of this year attempting to put together a lucrative fight against Joshua, but now need to explore other options.
Sanchez most recently stopped Scott Alexander (17-6-2, 9 KOs) after the fourth round of their scheduled 10-round bout on the Canelo Alvarez-Jermell Charlo undercard September 30 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Alvarez and Sanchez are both trained by Eddy Reynoso, but Alvarez isn’t expected to fight again until May 4.
Sanchez wants a significant fight much sooner than that.
“I respect Wilder,” Sanchez said. “He is a very strong fighter, but I think I will come out victorious. I hope he considers a fight with me. I think boxing fans would be interested in this fight. Let’s see what happens in the future, but all I can do is stay prepared with Eddy and be ready for anything.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.