Deontay Wilder's trainer gives worrying update on Anthony Joshua fight

Deontay Wilder’s trainer Malik Scott has expressed his frustration over delays in getting a deal to fight Anthony Joshua across the line.

Talks for the heavyweight rivals to finally meet in the ring have been ongoing since April. While all camps have expressed a desire to get the fight on, Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn cast doubt on a proposed December date, complicated by what he described as ‘a change of environment in Saudi Arabia with the operators in boxing’.

Joshua and Wilder have agreed terms to the fight but with no contract on the table, Hearn has suggested the Briton could seek an alternative opponent for the end of the year.

The Matchroom chief also insisted they will explore different destinations should the Saudi deal not be finalised soon.

‘Politically, it sounds like there’s a lot going on,’ Hearn said. ‘It doesn’t just have to happen in Saudi Arabia.

‘There are now other talks about other countries that it could take place in. …There is a movement of management and ownership of boxing in Saudi and it’s up to them what they want to do. If they don’t do Joshua-Wilder maybe it goes somewhere else.’

Former heavyweight contender Scott, who has been Wilder’s trainer since 2021, is also open to the fight landing elsewhere but expressed his own frustrations with recent delays and Hearn’s comments.

He told ESNews: ‘It’s a real frustrating frustration, because to me, out of everybody, Deontay is the one, as far as activity, is the one that misses out. It’s a lot of promises, but it seems the promises are being broken a little bit. But we’ll see.’

Joshua beat Jermaine Franklin in his first fight working with trainer Derrick James in April. A rematch with Dillian Whyte was called off in August with the former Olympian knocking out late stand-in Robert Helenius.

‘He [Joshua] is just training away but he wants Wilder,’ Hearn told BBC 5 Live Boxing.

‘If it can’t be made, he wants to stay active. If he fights in December, that’ll be three fights in eight months which is incredible for him.

‘There’s Filip Hrgovic and there’s Andy Ruiz Jr, but it probably won’t take place in this country,” added Hearn.

‘He’s had two now on the spin at The O2 Arena, so maybe we go to Madison Square Garden, somewhere in the Middle East. It’s just about activity for him.’

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