Joshua ‘ducking Wilder’ but Brit backed to face left-field new foe
Emotional Anthony Joshua explains erratic behaviour after defeat
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Deontay Wilder’s trainer Malik Scott claims that Anthony Joshua is ducking the Tuscaloosa native. Scott was hopeful that Wilder could square off against AJ in April for the Brit’s long-awaited return to the ring, but it appears his sparring partner Gerald Washington is more likely to face the Brit next.
According to Scott, Washington – a boxing gatekeeper– is one of the ‘leading names’ to fight Joshua later this year. The American is 20-5-1 as a professional and has lost his last two outings including a stoppage defeat to Charles Martin – whom AJ demolished inside two rounds back in 2016 to claim his first world title from.
Yet Scott stands firm on Washington being in consideration. “Gerald Washington is one of the leading names to possibly fight Anthony Joshua, It’s not a rumour, it’s an actual fact that he’s one of the options,” he told Best Sports Betting Canada. “And it’s something Gerald is ready for.
“I keep telling people, Gerald is a big, strong, heavy-handed guy. The physicalities are there, but what we’ve been working on is mental stamina. And fighting at the highest level, that’s more important than the physical.
“Gerald is better than ever, he’s hungrier than ever, and I can’t wait for you guys to see him. And I can’t wait to see him under the lights myself.
“I’m very optimistic the fight will get made, especially at this point with the move they’re trying to do for AJ, that’s what makes me optimistic about it because I know the mission they’re on with AJ. And that’s not the mission I’m on for Deontay and AJ.”
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Scott would prefer to see the Watford powerhouse do battle with Wilder but claims AJ isn’t interested in the proposition. “At one time it looked like we’re getting ready to get a Deontay-AJ fight made, then you hear AJ and his team want to do other things,” he added.
“It seems like he’s ducking all my heavyweights. You have got to fight one of my heavyweights, man, we’re waiting on you over here. You’re ducking Deontay Wilder, Gerald Washington is ready to fight right now, in top condition, mentally and spiritually and physically.”
Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn is confident that the Wilder clash can be made in December after two warm-up fights in April and July. Jermaine Franklin, Otto Wallin, Zhang Zhilei, and Filip Hrgovic are the names in consideration for AJ’s first fight back while his second is expected to be against Dillian Whyte.
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