Matchroom Sport promoter Eddie Hearn says Anthony Joshua wants to fight the winner of the Deontay Wilder vs. Luis Ortiz contest, and he’s eager to make that fight happen. Ortiz (27-0, 23 KOs) is already the WBA mandatory challenger to Joshua (19-0, 19 KOs), and he’s expected to face him in early 2018, provided he get past his next title defense against his IBF mandatory Kubrat Pulev in November.
Joshua, 27, wants the WBC heavyweight title that is currently in the possession of the unbeaten knockout artist Wilder (38-0, 37 KOs). Likewise, Wilder wants Joshua’s IBF and WBA title, and he sees weakness in the British fighter after he was dropped by Wladimir Klitschko in their fight on April 29 and almost knocked out. Joshua was exhausted after just 6 rounds of fighting, and he was lucky that Wladimir didn’t have the confidence to go after him and finish him off.
Joshua appears to be working feverishly on his cardio, running a great deal, and he seems to be a little thinner than he was in the Klitschko fight. Joshua weighed 250 lbs. for that fight, and he looked like he was ready to enter a bodybuilding contest rather than a boxing match. It was sad that no one pulled Joshua aside and warned him that he was putting on way too much useless muscle weight.
I could see it, I thought Joshua was at least 25 lbs. too heavy for the Wladimir fight. All that useless muscle ended up slowing Joshua down, causing him to exhaust himself early. In looking at recent video of Joshua, he appears to be in the low 240s. I think that’s too much. Joshua needs to trim down to 225. That’s wha he weighed in the London Olympics in 2012, and he was a lot faster back then.
”Wilder v Ortiz] brings a unification fight closer, rather than waiting for next summer,”said Hearn to skysports.com. “As I’m hearing it, Ortiz could fight Wilder which is a great fight. If he does, we’d like to fight the winner. AJ is up for fighting anyone. We’ve got an IBF mandatory to take care of. Then we’ve got a WBA mandatory to take care of, which could be Ortiz.”
There’s no question that Joshua will be fighting for the WBC title in 2018, as long as he beats Pulev in 2017. Joshua should beat Pulev, as he doesn’t have much of a punch. Pulev has an excellent jab though, and good boxing skills to go along with his 6’4 ½” size. Pulev is a superb outside fighter. If he can stay on the outside and move a little bit, he might be able to keep Joshua from landing his bombs. Pulev isn’t very mobile though. That’s one big flaw that he has. He’s not hard to find in the ring if you want to attack him with big power shots.