Wilder and AJ in agreement on future fight after £80m deal ruined | Boxing | Sport

Deontay Wilder’s refusal to retire and Anthony Joshua still being open to fighting the Bronze Bomber despite his defeat to Joseph Parker on Saturday has kept hopes of an eventual mega-fight alive. The ex-WBC world heavyweight champion, 38, was defeated by Parker via unanimous decision in a shock result in Saudi Arabia.

Two-time world heavyweight champion AJ, however, dominated his fight on the same card, Day of Reckoning, beating Otto Wallin. Wilder’s devastating loss condemned him to just one win in nearly three years and it has cast doubt over the potential of future fights with Joshua.

The two were on track for a $100 million (£80 million) bout penciled in for March next year. Wilder’s defeat ends the hopes of that deal being completed – but it seems both are keeping the door open to meet in the future. 

The Brit may have handed Wilder a lifeline and motivation by claiming he would still be open to fighting the American, who has refused to retire. “I’m not too sure what can happen from here,” AJ started in his post-fight press conference. “But I’m sure from a fan perspective, they’ll be more annoyed. For me, I always understand how this game is: You never know. This is elite-level boxing.

“Wilder just came up short but he’ll live to fight another day. Me and him could still get it on, we could still get it cracking. I believe I’m a massive threat, I still think Wilder’s a threat and I still think it does amazing numbers if we get it on. But I’ll leave that down to my management, trainers, promoters to make that decision – I’m down to fight anyone whenever, and whoever.”

Joshua did, however, say that if he had to pick between a world heavyweight title fight or take on Wilder, he would jump at the chance to reclimb back to the top of the mountain. “So let’s say, for example, there was an option to fight for the heavyweight championship of the world or fight an opponent, I would always choose the heavyweight championship of the world because that is the creme de la creme – the most prestigious title you can win in boxing,” AJ continued.

“Now, there is no title on the line. So, if there’s no title on the line, what does that mean? I’m gonna fight Deontay Wilder.”

Wilder cast some doubt on his future in his post-fight interview. However, he clarified he plans to return as he wrote on social media: “Sorry if I let anyone down. This is not the end, we’ll be back.”

Boxing promoter Frank Warren says someone in Wilder’s camp claimed the American was potentially nursing an injury. “I thought he [Wilder] looked pretty dreadful,” Warren told talkSPORT. “He did a very good job, Joe, right from the start.”

He added: “I really don’t know what he does now, Deontay. I was just talking to Shelly Finkel [Wilder’s manager] and they were telling me that he had a problem. He went into one of those Cryochambers and sat in it for a long time. I don’t know. Obviously, there’s going to be some excuse.”

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