Anthony Joshua will box Deontay Wilder in 2024, whether he won his fight against robert helenius or not says the American’s trainer Malik Scott.
Joshua is on course for a January showdown with Wilder, a former heavyweight champion like himself, after his contest with late-notice replacement Robert Helenius last weekend.
Scott, who is Wilder’s trainer, revealed the fight with Joshua is “locked in” for January. He also believes it should happen regardless of whether Joshua wins or loses to Helenius.
“I think they both should be in the ring with each other regardless,” Scott told Sky Sports News. “Performance-wise, win or lose, to me Deontay Wilder and AJ should be in a boxing ring together. It should happen.
“It would be a true tragedy if we get the Riddick Bowe-Lennox Lewis [who never fought] effect with Deontay Wilder and Anthony Joshua.
“Them two deserve to be in a ring with each other.”
He also hopes for Wilder to secure an interim fight in October before boxing Joshua next year.
“The January thing is locked in, as locked in as it’s going to be,” Scott said.
“In the boxing world nothing to me is done until it’s actually over. That’s my personal opinion. But the high [level] talk, the deal is almost done.”
Helenius is a late-notice replacement for Dillian Whyte after the latter returned an adverse anti-doping finding. The Finn is also a former sparring partner of Joshua’s.
Yet, when speaking to Sky Sports News, Joshua professed to feeling “nervous”.
“I want to do a good job,” he explained. “I block out everyone’s expectations and opinions, just do my job. That’s all that matters.
“We’re going to war, we’re going to fight,” Joshua added. “This is just another stepping stone to greatness.”
Wilder knocked out the 39-year-old Helenius in a round when they boxed last October. “We iced him. I mean literally iced him, froze him,” Scott said.
“Helenius can fight, I love him. He has a great style, he’s long, his chin is always behind his front knee besides the time he fought us and he paid,” he continued.
“AJ may be facing a way better Helenius than we had, [if] he’s not willing to make the same mistakes. We shall see.
“He’s going to have to do it his way. We did it the Deontay Wilder way and I helped orchestrate it because that’s my job as the head trainer.”
Joshua found Helenius quite as easy to beat because Scott considers Joshua to be a different type of fighter compared to Wilder.
“AJ is a combination puncher. His make up is not being a one-punch knockout artist. That’s Deontay Wilder’s make up,” he said.
With a word of warning, Scott emphasised: “Deontay Wilder is a one-punch knockout artist, he’s the Picasso of knockouts.”
That’s whom Scott expects to see facing Joshua next, now that the Nigerian boxer has proven his worth over Helenius.