By Charles Brun: Trainer Malik Scott says Anthony Joshua doesn’t want the fight with Deontay Wilder, and he’s fine with going through the remainder of his career without facing him.
Malik notes that Joshua has failed to push for the fight with Wilder, and knows why. AJ recognizes that his fighting style is “picture-perfect” to be knocked out by Wilder, so he’d rather fight guys like Jermaine Franklin & Robert Helenius.
Joshua’s promoter hasn’t come out and said it directly, but it’s widely believed that he’s going to keep AJ out of harm’s way from dangerous opposition, like the former WBC heavyweight champion Deontay, until Tyson Fury is available to fight him.
The Fury vs. Joshua fight might not happen until the second half of 2024, because Tyson has two contests that he needs to get out of the way against IBF, WBA & WBO champion Oleksandr Usyk first after his crossover contest against novice boxer Francis Ngannou on October 28th.
Wilder (43-2-1, 42 KOs) invested much time waiting on a fight with Joshua (26, 23 KOs), but with nothing to show. Instead, Joshua will be fighting a fringe contender in December, and it’s unknown if he’ll face Wilder in Deontay in 2024.
“When you’re the hardest puncher in the history of the sport, it’s very hard for guys to want to fight you,” said Malik Scott to Fighthype about fighters not wanting to face Deontay Wilder. “I’m going to say a number. Four million dollars. Fighters would rather stay poor than make four million dollars [fighting Deontay]. That’s a tragedy.
“They’d rather ask for 15 or 20 [million], knowing it’s not on the table for them, but they’d rather ask for that. It’s insane. They know it does [have PPV upside fighting Wilder], but you got to understand it because their life is on the line, and it really is.
“Deontay is one of those fighters that can cut your switch off completely with one shot, and that’s what most fighters don’t want to face that specimen. They’d rather than like it and draw attention to their name, but do they really want to fight him? [Luis] Ortiz really wanted to fight him.
“That’s why he fought him twice. Ortiz really thought he could beat him, and that’s why he fought him twice. Tyson Fury really thought he could beat him. That’s why he won the fights he won with him.
“We know the ones that really want to fight Deontay, and the ones that are trying to have their names attached to his so they can bring in more commercial and more marketing to themselves in their brand.
“We’re not interested in that. I just want him to fight. I’m so frustrated. He’s my brother. I love him. To me, out of all this s**t, he’s the one that’s not benefiting from it because it’s inactivity.
“Ruiz,” said Malik when asked who is more likely to fight Wilder between Andy Ruiz Jr. and Anthony Joshua. “AJ is cool if he goes his whole career without fighting Deontay. He don’t mind it. You don’t see him fighting for it.
“It’s the fighters at the end of the point. I don’t care what Shelly [Finkel] and Al Haymon are saying. You see Deontay out there calling fighters out. You have to take some of this from yourself.
“Yeah, your promoters and managers are a part of it, but as a fighter, you have to do your job to get the big fights done. To me, AJ doesn’t campaign about the fight [with Wilder] enough. He doesn’t want to really want it, and we know why. Because stylistically, he’s picture-perfect to be knocked the f**k out by Deontay.
“Yes,” said Malik when asked if Joshua is looking better with his new coach Derrick James. “I got tons of respect for DJ,” said Malik.