With 39 wins (38KO) in 39 professional outings, Deontay Wilder holds one of the most feared records in world boxing. Taking a closer look, however, details the lack of a standout opponent where you can say with confidence that “The Bronze Bomber” had his defining night. Time is ticking for the WBC heavyweight champion, and with super-fights on the horizon in 2018 let’s take a look at the possible route that Wilder could forge…
1 Dillian Whyte (22-1)
With reports that Wilder is wanting $7 million to come to the UK to fight "The Body Snatcher" Dillian Whyte, the scheduled bout on February 3 is becoming a logistical nightmare for the promotional companies involved.
Eddie Hearn is attempting to use Whyte as 'cannon-fodder' for Wilder, as a UK appearance for The Bronze Bomber would do wonders for his profile heading into the bigger unification bout with Anthony Joshua.
Whyte has underwhelmed since he caught Joshua with a right hand in their bout in 2015, and with the 29-year-old's recent fight with Robert Helenius failing to catch fire, it's no wonder that Wilder and his team see Whyte as a step down in opponent.
Wilder would surely have enough fire-power to dispatch of Whyte and if the teams can come to an agreement on purses, they may reap the rewards when the time is right to unify the division.
2 Anthony Joshua (20-0)
There is a small possibility that Wilder and Joshua won't fight again until next summer. If this is the case, then the unification fight should be taken early with a guaranteed stadium sell-out fight in the UK.
The WBA have revoked Luis Ortiz' status as the WBA mandatory for Anthony Joshua, so with that path clearing into a possible voluntary defence next for AJ, waiting for a summer showdown may well appear the most profitable.
Joshua has shown deficiencies in his wins over Klitschko and Takam and despite Wilder's credentials still up for debate, a fight between these two would be guarenteed fireworks. AJ's stamina has been under the microscope in the last 12 months, and if Wilder can take him late into the fight it may play into the heavy hands of the leader of the "Bomb Squad".
3 Alexander Povetkin (32-1)
This fight was due to take place in May last year, however after Povetkin was found to have failed a drugs test the bout was cancelled. With further tests done since on the Russian, there still seems to be confusion over whether the 38-year-old did have a banned substance in his blood, but despite this he is back in the ring and contending.
Despite the cancellation of the first fight having nothing to do with Wilder, The Bronze Bomber would surely like to prove the doubters wrong who believed the Russian had the advantage going into this fight.
With just one loss to Klitschko on his record a fight against Povetkin would be the biggest test of Wilder's career, and despite the fight not grabbing the same attention as it would have last summer there is still money to be made off the back of a potential Wilder victory.
A fight in February/March against the Russian would work to the timescale of Wilder if we believe he is chasing that super-fight next summer.
4 Joseph Parker (24-0)
The benefit of fighting Parker is that there is another heavyweight belt on the line (WBO). The drawback however is the lack of interest and money a fight between Wilder and Parker would realistically make.
With Parker's last defence against Hughie Fury being broadcast on YouTube PPV, a lack of a regular TV deal hampers the Kiwi's progression in the sport especially since he tends to fight out of his home of New Zealand.
Bringing this fight to America won't help the figures and unless the fight can be placed on another high-profile bill then I'm not sure what either fighter would see in this match up... except becoming the unified heavyweight champion and enabling a 'winner takes all' bout against Joshua.
5 Tyson Fury (25-0)
If we are to believe the rumours of a Tyson Fury return in 2018, then where better place to start than re-fuelling the rivalry between these two that we saw just over 18 months ago. Still unbeaten, still without fighting since his victory over Klitschko in 2015 and still unpredictable, a Fury return should be pounced on by any possible opponent. Why? Because you never know if it will happen again.
Money will be the motivation for Wilder taking this tricky fight. Of all the previously listed four fighters, Fury's style will pose the biggest problems for the erratic, flamboyant and technically flawed Wilder.
Old Trafford, New York, Las Vegas, London, the options are endless for where this fight could take place, and with a guaranteed explosive build up this fight would do brilliant PPV numbers across the world.
What do you think is the next step for Deontay Wilder? Comment below...
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