Boxing: Deontay Wilder issues fiery warning, vows to make Anthony Joshua the first KO victim in Saudi Arabia

Deontay Wilder has vowed to give Saudi Arabia their “first knockout victim” if he takes to the ring to face Anthony Joshua later this year. The American heavyweight is open to a clash with the Briton in the Middle East in December and has promised to deliver something special in the punch.

“I’mma give Saudi their first knockout victim. Any Wilder fight you can expect that, but this one’s gonna be real special. I’ve got something special that I’m gonna put on the punch with this one,” Wilder said.

Wilder has not entered the ring for over a year, but his knockout of Robert Helenius in the first round of their fight in New York last October proved he still has what it takes. The 37-year-old has won 43 of his 46 professional bouts, but suffered back-to-back defeats to Tyson Fury in 2020 and 2021.

Speculation about a bout between Wilder and Joshua has intensified after the American’s manager Shelly Finkel confirmed that “Deontay has wanted to fight Joshua for a long time and of course is willing to fight him in Saudi Arabia.”

Wilder’s clash with Joshua could coincide with a super fight night in the Middle East, featuring Fury and Oleksandr Usyk. Joshua has since confirmed his eagerness to take on Wilder during an interview with The Metro.

“He is good, I respect him, I don’t undermine him,” Joshua said. “That will make me raise my game. I respect what he has done and what he has done in this division. It is hard to become a champion and he did it so I have to respect that.”

Joshua expressed confidence in his abilities, but acknowledged that it will be a tough fight. Although the money will always be a factor, he emphasised that the real challenge is in wanting to fight.

“I wish we had got this fight on before years ago – it shouldn’t have taken the big offer to get it over the line. We have just got to want to fight. If you do good business outside of the ring, you make money in the ring. But you have to want to fight regardless. It is not about the deal being right, that’s the wrong mindset,” Joshua said.

If the clash between Wilder and Joshua does materialise, it promises to be an exhilarating encounter, with both fighters possessing immense skill and power. For fans of boxing, this could be the match of the year.

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