Wednesday, March 29, 2023  |


Will Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder finally collide on April 13, 2019?

Photo: Sky Sports
Fighters Network

Matchroom Boxing Group Managing Director Eddie Hearn has booked Wembley Stadium for the next two Anthony Joshua fights, with the dates being cordoned off as September 22, 2018 and April 13, 2019.

Everyone and their brother sees that September date being shared with Alexander Povetkin. However that April 2019 date, am I a fool for thinking that date has “Deontay Wilder” written all over it?

Someone who would know is dealmaker extroardinaire Shelly Finkel, in his fourth decade of making pugilism promotions, helping set up fights, financial packages and such. I reached out to the New York businessman, who first came on radar screens as a concert promoter in the 1970s.

Shelly, can I assume that the April 2019 Wembley date is set aside for an Anthony Joshua vs. Deontay Wilder mash-up?

“Not now,” said Finkel, throwing a bucket of ice cold water on our hopes. (OK, not really. I’ve been seeing this push-me/pull-you/back-and-forth between Wilder and the IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight beltholder and companies from the stance of the slightly cynical soul who knows to filter most business matters through the lens of knowing that it’s all about making money, exerting leverage, posturing, planning…and all that usually takes longer than outside parties think it will and should.)

So I shouldn’t be feeling too optimistic, then? “Correct! But always good to be optimistic,” Finkel said.

“No, it’s not reserved for us,” said Lou DiBella, who has been promoting the WBC titleholder’s fights for the last few years, when I asked for his take on this Wembley announcement. “If we ever wind up making a fair deal, it would be great for then. But people should stop extrapolating and going on a watch.”

Basically both sides are on obviously different tracks. It would be great if and when common ground gets found and a deal is hashed out but no one should be on the edge of their seats, breathless, in anticipation. For now, they go their separate ways, and maybe soon, they meet in the middle.

Reading between the lines from a few Hearn interviews, I do think April 2019 is our launch date for the Brit vs. American collision. What say you? Do you think Hearn might want to sub in someone else? Snag Tyson Fury for the biggest domestic heavyweight scrum that nation has ever known? Maybe I’ve been extrapolating too much…




Follow Michael Woods on Twitter @Woodsy1069




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