The second opponent of the former unified champion’s comeback is the little-known German Francesco Pianeta, who will travel to Belfast for their fight at Windsor Park on August 18.
Fury revealed earlier this week that negotiations have begun for him to challenge American Wilder in the US before the end of the year, but for all of the Briton’s pedigree such a step up would represent a significant risk.
When his comeback began promoter Warren spoke of the need for the 29-year-old, before challenging one of the division’s leading fighters, to have several fights in quick succession to overcome the effects of almost three years out of the ring.
Pursuing Wilder so soon could be perceived as a change in strategy to something more short-term, but asked if that represented cashing out on a fighter who divided opinion when defeating Sefer Seferi on his return, Warren responded: “Deontay Wilder’s doing that. I’m not doing that.
“I could sit around and give him another couple of fights, I’m not doing that at all. From my perspective, if he feels he’s ready to go for it – we’ll see what he looks like, he may still look a bit rusty in Ireland but the bottom line is he’s in the ring.
“He’ll be coming out of that fight, whatever happens (as long as) he wins the fight, in a better position to go and challenge for the titles he never lost in the ring.
“(If we wait) Deontay Wilder’s punch isn’t going to go away in a couple of fights – he can punch. The fact of the matter is he’s in there, he fancies it, physically he’s in a good position, and most importantly with Tyson, mentally he’s in a good position, and that’s the main thing – mentally he’s there.”
Warren also revealed that concerns Wilder could lose before fighting Fury are contributing to their drive to make sure Fury next challenges him in what would ultimately be a glamorous match-up.
“My worry with all these heavyweight champions, Deontay Wilder and Anthony Joshua, is they’ll get beat,” he said. “Both of them could get beat. It’s not difficult to hit Anthony Joshua – hit him on the chin, he can go, we’ve seen it happen.
“Deontay Wilder’s come from behind in fights, we know he’s a big puncher, but he’s been behind and shown he can be beaten on points.
“Deontay’s coming over (to Belfast) for the fight.
“Tyson’s in good nick, he’s shifted another bit of weight. Get this fight out of the way and he’ll be ready to go. It’s not like he’s got lots of miles on the clock; he’s still a young man.”
If walking around the Mall of Emirates isn’t enough cardio for one day, shoppers had the chance to get some extra exercise thanks to a few rounds of special boxing classes.
Real Boxing Only gym (RGB LLC.) teamed with GO sport to erect a boxing ring to showcase a series of demonstrations of boxing and fitness, as well as inviting customers to learn the ropes. The event saw shoppers climbing into the ring with professional boxers Mo Ali Bayat, Rohan Date and Waleed ‘Dynamite’ Din along with trainer Ben O’Connor. The boxers and trainers held pads for customers who fancied getting a sweat on while learning the basics of the sport.
“Boxing is an accessible sport,” said Michelle Kuehn, Managing Director, RGB LLC. “We want to make an impact on the city by sharing the benefits of boxing; not only are our in-house professional fighters from around the globe showing off their skills, but we also have our child boxer – LilSingh leading off every day and our female fighters showing that boxing is empowering for men, women and children alike. We believe that any one can box; our motto is ‘real boxing for real people.’”
Bas Bouwman, Marketing Manager, Al Mana Fashion Group – Sports Division added, “This summer, in store we have focussed on all that is fitness and what many don’t know is that boxing is the elite leader in fitness – just 30 minutes of boxing can help one burn up to 300 calories. It enhances one’s cardiovascular health, total body strength, accelerates weight loss and improves body composition. Plus, it’s a huge stress reliever.”
Real Boxing Only gym, located in Al Quoz has created a space that is focused on the training rituals and results of a professional boxer. Trainers impart the key to fighting fitness and welcome those of all abilities and fitness levels.
Find out more at www.realboxingonly.com
Anthony Joshua has committed his peak years to Matchroom by signing a three-year contract extension with the promoter.
The WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight champion has become perhaps the world’s highest-profile fighter since making his professional debut with them in 2013 and next fights Alexander Povetkin at Wembley Stadium on September 22.
There had long been an expectation within boxing circles that Joshua would eventually sign for an American promoter – traditionally the most lucrative and influential – but his agreement with Matchroom is a further demonstration of British boxing’s growing power.
Matchroom have received significant investment to continue expanding into the US market with DAZN, while Joshua’s appeal – the fight with Russia’s Povetkin will be his fourth in succession at a stadium – means he has little incentive to fight elsewhere.
“They’ve worked very hard to give me a platform to showcase my skills and tell my story,” the 28-year-old said.
“So choosing to renew our deal was always a matter of when not if.
“We have created history together and we are dedicated to keeping the UK scene in high demand for all boxers and boxing fans, but for me personally, the journey is nowhere near finished yet.
“When I decided to become a professional boxer I felt the boxing market was stagnant and in need of new energy, both Matchroom and Sky have backed me and have given me opportunity after opportunity and I will always deliver.”
Though expected, Joshua’s ongoing commitment to Matchroom and Sky Sports will likely prove problematic when the time comes to negotiate terms for a domestic fight with Tyson Fury, who is signed to Frank Warren and BT Sport.
It is hoped that a fight with WBC champion Deontay Wilder will follow for Joshua in 2019, and that his most significant match-ups – undisputed cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk of Ukraine has become a further target – will follow in the coming years.
“I am delighted to extend our promotional agreement with Anthony and also extend his relationship with Sky Sports,” said Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn.