Parker dominated Wilder through twelve rounds to win by unanimous decision and dash the hopes of Wilder facing Joshua next. The fighters had a two-fight deal in place, the first of which was for March 9, 2024, if they both won their fights. Joshua beat Otto Wallin, but Wilder failed to come through his fight. Joshua will now face Filip Hrgovic in what will likely be an IBF title fight.
A key reason for Wilder’s loss may have been his inactivity. After the consecutive losses to Tyson Fury, he only had one round in around 18 months. That was a first-round knockout win over Robert Helenius. Wilder was in talks to face Andy Ruiz Jr., but they failed to agree on a purse split as he waited longer for his next fight which was Parker. The loss has left Wilder without a big fight, but the American still wanted AJ.
“They really don’t want that fight. They really don’t want that fight, and when I lost, you saw how happy he was coming out…I said that ‘That [he is] happy as f**k’… Boy, I made him, I made him be able to perform like that. ‘I ain’t got to fight Wilder?’ The rumor was he was talking about retiring if I won…Like I said, March 9th, the fight can still go on. We can still fight because they already said [it would happen] win, lose, or draw. [But] this is a perfect fight way for them to get out,” Wilder
Wilder’s realistic option is to avenge the Parker loss or to take on some other big names in the division to rebuild himself. Fights against Daniel Dubois, Zhilei Zhang or even Joe Joyce are realistic. But at 38, the American is running out of time to get those big fights. With Joshua looking elsewhere, Wilder may have missed that opportunity for good.