Anthony Joshua vs Deontay Wilder ‘almost’ signed with grudge match close to being announced for December


ANTHONY JOSHUA’s long-awaited showdown with Deontay Wilder is on the verge of being finalised.

Talks over the pair’s long overdue grudge match – which is on course to land in Saudi Arabia this winter – began in April.

Anthony Joshua is on the verge of finally fighting long-time rival Deontay WilderRICHARD PELHAM

The former heavyweight champions are on course for a December dust-upGETTY

INSTAGRAM@MALIKKINGSCOTTWilder’s head coach has claimed the fight is ‘almost’ signed[/caption]

Unlike their first round of negotiations five years ago, talks between both camps have gone swimmingly – so much so that Wilder’s head coach – Malik Scott – expects an imminent announcement.

He told Betway: “Without going into too much detail about the business aspect of it, everything’s been said, talked about, negotiated, but nothing’s been signed.

“But signing is almost upon us. But the negotiations definitely are happening.

“The moves are being made. The business aspect is definitely being taken care of.

“And most of all Deontay Wilder is being taken care of and is going to get paid very well for his services, and that’s the most important part to me.”

Joshua and Wilder’s long-awaited meeting is set to be part of a four-man tournament involving Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk.

And Scott claims the December dust-ups will take place on the SAME night.

He said: “I can confirm that the aim is to make both fights in one night.


“But the only fight that I know for sure if there’s a strong possibility of it happening and is being negotiated is Deontay and AJ.”

Boxing fans were dying for Joshua and Wilder, 33 and 37 respectively, to throw down when they held all the heavyweight marbles five years ago.

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Joshua, back then, was tipped by many to get the better of the hard-hitting Bronze Bomber – although the prediction pendulum has since swung the other way.

And Scott is adamant his man will turn AJ’s lights out, saying:” My prediction is a third or fourth round knockout, Deontay wins by knockout.

“I don’t want to come down too hard on AJ or anything like that but he isn’t in the same class as Deontay.

“He’s going out there with a systemised game plan now, he’s going out with a system of discipline and humility.

“And I believe if he sticks with that system there is not a man that can beat him.”

Former unified heavyweight champion Joshua hasn’t set foot in the ring since his scrappy points win over Jermaine Franklin last month.

And promoter Eddie Hearn recently revealed he’d like the Watford warrior to take another warm-up fight before throwing down with the former WBC king.

The Matchroom Boxing chief said: “If they [the Saudis] can’t get [Tyson] Fury-Usyk over the line, they will still do AJ vs. Wilder.

“You hit the numbers that we want, and then we work backward on that for the August fight that he [Joshua] will be having.

“We all believe he needs that fight in August and more time with [trainer] Derrick James, more preparation for Deontay Wilder, and then that’s it.

“Who we choose will be dependent on if we get that Wilder deal done.

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“I like the Dillian Whyte fight [for Joshua]. Whether he gets the Wilder fight done or not, I like that fight.

“I think it’s a fight that AJ will get up for.

“I think it’s a fight that he can have some spite for, and it’s a fight that is dangerous.”

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