Deontay Wilder will become Bulgaria’s biggest fan on Saturday night when Anthony Joshua vs Kubrat Pulev takes centre stage.
‘The Bronze Bomber’ will have his fingers firmly crossed in Tuscaloosa when the 39-year-old ‘Cobra’ attempts to cause a huge upset against AJ at SSE Arena, Wembley (live on Sky Sports Box Office and DAZN).
Wilder (42-1-1) knows that a Joshua victory could leave him on the outside looking in when it comes to the world title picture. And for a long time.
Pulev (28-1) is all that stands between AJ and Tyson Fury meeting next summer in a blockbusting unification showdown. That would then almost certainly be followed by an immediate rematch. That could see the world heavyweight titles, and the champions, tied up until 2022.
Wilder title hopes rest with Pulev
Fury’s co-promoter Bob Arum has said the planned trilogy bout between Fury and Wilder could be revived should Pulev upset Joshua. It is possible the fight could then happen in late February in the United States (COVID-19 permitting).
Fury and Wilder have met twice already of course. They fought to a controversial draw in Los Angeles in December 2018. The rematch was a one-sided beatdown in February 2020 as Fury stopped Wilder inside seven rounds in Las Vegas.
They had been slated to meet for a third time in Vegas in December. But that date was scuppered, causing Fury to “move on” and Wilder to react furiously on social media.
Now any clash between the two in the foreseeable future appears to rest on whether Pulev can upset 1/12 betting favourite Joshua on Saturday night.
WBC backing Fury vs Joshua clash
The World Boxing Council (WBC) has already said it is backing a Fury vs Joshua collision. Mandatory contender Alexander Povetkin meanwhile has a rematch with Dillian Whyte scheduled for January 30, 2021.
Joshua vs Pulev will air live on Sky Sports Box Office pay-per-view in the UK (£24.95)), while DAZN will screen the bout in more than 200 countries following its global launch at the beginning of December.