Deontay Wilder does not want to fight Ruiz, and insists on facing Anthony Joshua in 2023.
Former WBC heavyweight boxing champion Deontay Wilder has revealed his preferred opponent to start 2023.
British-born former heavyweight boxing champion Anthony Joshua is the key target for Wilder and his team in 2023.
Joshua lost the WBO, WBA, IBF, and IBO heavyweight boxing titles to Oleksandr Usyk last year and was defeated in the rematch this year.
A fight between Joshua and Wilder has been in the works for several years and at a time they both held all five belts in the heavyweight division.
The fight did not materialize and both fighters are now former champions in the division.
Wilder recently produced a devastating knockout against Robert Helenius and now wants the fight against Joshua next.
The urgency for the fight against Joshua was made known by Wilder’s manager Shelly Finkel in an interview with World Boxing.
Finkel on Wilder vs Joshua
Joshua was in attendance as his old foe Dillian Whyte recorded a decision victory against Jermaine Franklin in London.
Following the result, it is now expected that Joshua takes on Wilder for the second time early next year.
According to Finkel, the fight between Joshua and Wilder is massive for boxing and the heavyweight division.
He explained that Wilder has a WBC eliminator against Andy Ruiz but his client would prefer to face Joshua first.
He said, “Deontay is willing to fight Anthony Joshua next. We would take that fight in the UK or the Middle East, and we will do it next.
“We have the WBC eliminator with Ruiz, and we will do that, but we want the Joshua fight. Eddie Hearn said he contacted me in August, but we had the [Robert] Helenius fight.
“We announced it that month and said we won’t talk to anyone until after the Helenius fight. Eddie knew this but still said he had contacted us. Now we are willing to talk to make a deal for Joshua next.”
Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom boxing, after Whyte was victorious, explained the enormity of a fight between Joshua and Wilder.
He said, “Tyson Fury vs Oleksandr Usyk is nowhere near as big as Tyson Fury vs Anthony Joshua, and nowhere near as big as Anthony Joshua vs Deontay Wilder either. It’s a great fight, but it’s just not.”
Decisions will be made next year as to if Joshua will have a tune-up fight and if Wilder accepts the eliminator tie against Ruiz to become mandatory for the WBC heavyweight belt.