Deontay Wilder Pledges Anthony Joshua Fight Will Happen, Says Won’t Be Lennox Lewis Vs. Riddick Bowe Situation

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After his spectacular, one-punch knockout of mandatory challenger Dominic Breazeale, as reported by The Inquisitr, World Boxing Council heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder made a promise — his long-awaited title unification fight against World Boxing Association and International Boxing Federation champion Anthony Joshua of Great Britain will take place, and will not go the way of the most legendary fight of the 1990s that never happened, according to a report by Boxing Scene.

Competing heavyweight champions Lennox Lewis of Great Britain and American Riddick Bowe had met in the super heavyweight final at the 1988 Seoul Olympics, with Lewis earning a stoppage victory and the gold medal, as The Sporting News recounted. Their rematch in the professional ranks was close to being finalized in 1992 when Bowe suddenly renounced his WBC title — actually dropping the championship belt in a trash can at a press conference — saying that he felt forced into the Lewis fight by the sanctioning body.

The fight never happened — but Wilder said after his Saturday victory that history would not repeat itself with regard to his highly anticipated fight against the undefeated Joshua, according to Britain’s Sun newspaper.

“It will happen. I don’t want this to be a Lennox and Bowe situation. It’s our obligation to give the fans what they want,” Wilder said.

“The negotiations are going to come round again on that deal we were discussing. I promise it will happen.”

Anthony Joshua celebrates a knockout win.
IBF and WBA heavyweight champions Anthony Joshua makes his United States debut on June 1.Featured image credit: Richard HeathcoteGetty Images

Twenty-nine-year-old Joshua whose record stands at 22-0 with 21 knockouts per BoxRec, has never fought outside of his native United Kingdom. But on June 1, he will make his United States debut, taking on late-substitute challenger Andy Ruiz Jr. at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

The Joshua-Ruiz Jr. fight will be live streamed on the DAZN sports platform, and Wilder’s co-manager said on Saturday that he will meet with DAZN USA chief John Skipper to explore the possibility of a Wilder-Joshua fight, according to the boxing news site Bad Left Hook. Wilder is under contract to the Showtime premium cable network.

“We’ll decide in the next couple of weeks,” Finkel told BBC Sport when asked when Wilder planned to fight Joshua.

“I would say probably next year but nothing’s definite.”

With his stunning, first-round, one-punch knockout win over Breazeale, Wilder — the 2008 Olympic heavyweight bronze medalist — raised his record to 41 wins against zero losses, with one draw and 40 knockouts, per BoxRec.

Wilder’s lone draw came in December in a bout against another British heavyweight, Tyson Fury, whose plodding, defensive style appeared to frustrate the hard-charging Wilder, as The Inquisitr covered at the time.