Marsellos Wilder, a 29-year-old cruiserweight, will make his debut in the professional boxing world later tonight in his hometown of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, US.
He takes on four-fight novice Jayln Anthony hoping to emulate his older brother’s ferocious knockout record; Deontay has stopped all 39 opponents he has shared the ring with, and the 32-year-old is desperate to add Anthony Joshua’s name to the list.
Negotiations between the two camps have been continuing in the background for a number of weeks, since Joshua’s victory over Joseph Parker at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium in March.
Wilder, 32, is the current WBC heavyweight champion
Last month, Wilder personally emailed Joshua’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, offering a guaranteed $50m if AJ agreed to fight on the American’s terms; the deal was received with scepticism by the Brit’s representatives, leading to a stalemate in talks.
Hearn today suggested an announcement could be made within the next two weeks whether the fight will happen next but brother Marsellos claimed the blame would lie entirely with Joshua’s team if fans are deprived of seeing the bout this year.
“I feel the situation is corny,” Marsellos told World Boxing News.
Joshua turned down a reported $50m to fight Wilder on the American’s terms
“Here you have the heavyweight Division booming at its highest level and two undefeated knockout artists fighting for all the belts. Plus, you got 50 million dollars on the table.
“There’s one champ who definitely wants it and the other champ who seems unsure, but the whole world is asking for this fight.
“The one thing I know for certain is that Deontay will fight on another planet if it’s safe and they are paying the champ a fair deal and what he deserves.
“I think Joshua probably wants to take the fight but his handlers don’t. They know it’s a huge risk against Deontay as he’s a massive puncher.”