Wilder set to scout Joshua and Klitschko

WASHINGTON • Unbeaten heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder will have a ringside view of rivals Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko in their Wembley Stadium unification showdown on Saturday, in the hope of fighting the winner by December.

The American, who owns the World Boxing Council crown, will serve as a television analyst when Britain's unbeaten Joshua defends his International Boxing Federation belt and vies for the vacant World Boxing Association title against Klitschko before a sellout crowd of more than 90,000.

"I'm looking forward to getting my own bird's-eye view of both fighters for a future fight," Wilder said. "I'm definitely going over there to scout. I'm looking for a fighting partner."

When it comes to picking a winner, he is torn, saying, "My heart goes to Joshua but my mind says Klitschko." But he took verbal swipes at both, citing the Englishman's past foes as lacklustre and the former champion as possibly too far past his prime.

"There are a lot of flaws Joshua has," he said. "He's still young in the game... He has got the power. At any given time he can get you out of there. He's definitely going to have to move and take angles with Klitschko."

Klitschko, who used Wilder as a sparring partner in more than 50 rounds, is 41 and lost his title to Tyson Fury in his most recent fight 17 months ago because, Wilder says, "he didn't throw no damn punches".

"I hope Klitschko brings Klitschko," he added. "I think he's ready."

Wilder, 38-0 with 37 knockouts, has owned the WBC crown for two years and wants a July fight with New Zealand's unbeaten Joseph Parker, the World Boxing Organisation champion, with that winner to meet the victor of Joshua and Klitschko's bout.

Parker, 22-0 with 18 knockouts, had a planned May fight against Britain's Hughie Fury called off on Saturday.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 26, 2017, with the headline 'Wilder set to scout Joshua and Klitschko'. Print Edition | Subscribe