Joshua’s Trainer: Wilder Fight Must Be in UK

There’s a lot of anticipation for a heavyweight championship unification showdown between WBA/WBO/IBF/IBO champion Anthony Joshua and WBC champion Deontay Wilder. But the more days pass, the more it looks more and more unlikely to happen.

The two sides are currently at an impasse in negotiations, primarily due to where the fight should take place. Each fighter wants the other to come to their country — meaning Joshua wants Wilder to come to the UK, and Wilder wants a bout with Joshua to take place in the U.S.

Should a fight not come to fruition, Joshua will face mandatory WBA challenger Alexander Povetkin, and Joshua’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, says a fight between Joshua and Povetkin is close to being finalized.

Rob McCracken, head trainer of Joshua, says the fight needs to take place in the U.K. because of Joshua’s drawing power. In fact, Joshua has even said he would take less money to keep the bout somewhere in the U.K. in one of its stadiums. Wilder, however, has offered Joshua $50 million guaranteed for a fight in the states.

“My thinking at the moment is he fights in the UK,” McCracken said. “Without a doubt for me the Wilder fight will take place, it’s just whether it’s this year or next year, that’s to be determined. I’d like Anthony to fight in the UK in his next contest. I believe that’s what’s in his interests and best for him.

“He fights in stadiums. He’s filled three of them, he did Wembley against [Wladimir] Klitschko and he’s done the Principality against [Carlos] Takam and Joseph Parker. He’s been a breath of fresh air for British boxing. He’s a great bloke, he’s great for the sport. He speaks well, he looks well, he’s likable, he’s genuine. You can’t speak highly enough of Anthony and he’s a real fighter. He takes challenges up. He’ll fight anybody. But I still believe if he’s filling out stadiums, he’ll fight in America at some stage but not right now. I think he should be in the UK for his next fight.”

Original Story: Boxing Scene

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