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Deontay Wilder Claims Anthony Joshua’s Career Has Been Manufactured

Deontay Wilder Claims Anthony Joshua's Career Has Manufactured featured image
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JULY 29: Boxer Deontay Wilder looks on before the World Welterweight Championship bout between Errol Spence Jr. and Terence Crawford at T-Mobile Arena on July 29, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Deontay Wilder made an appearance on sports presenter Brian Custer’s podcast where he briefly highlighted Anthony Joshua’s career and brought forth allegations concerning ticket re-sales, amongst other issues, to explain why Joshua has been manufactured as his fighter. Wilder, who is set to fight on December 23rd as the co-feature alongside Joshua, did not mention his own career, which has been fraught with easy opponents, upjumped cruiserweights, and a slew of benefits himself, making him no different than what he’s accusing Joshua of being.

Anthony Joshua (26-3, 23 KO’s) and Deontay Wilder (43-2-1, 42 KO’s) share many similarities, having started boxing at a relatively older age than usual and both achieving world title glory. However, despite their similar journeys, Wilder appears to believe that Joshua’s career has been manufactured.

With Joshua, and I have said it many times before, there’s a difference between champions being born and being made, and Joshua was made,” Wilder asserted to Custer during his interview.

He was a made fighter. They bought things, they gave him things, even with the arena y’all copped tickets and y’all resold them.

I know how the whole game works. You want to seem like you done sell [sold] out, and then you build your own little ticket thing, you know what I mean? And [then] you buy all your tickets. Now it seemed like you done sold out the arena. And what you do? All you do is put it on the market and resell it.

Everything is a game, so whatever people buying is coming to your account because you already done bought all the tickets, and it may seem like you done had sold out. All that stuff, it’s just one of the oldest tricks in the books when it comes to the business. And then now the people on the outside looking in, ‘oh my God, they sold out faster than Michael f****** Jackson!’. That’s all it is. That’s how the trick is done.

Wilder’s argument accuses Joshua of boosting his profile and career by virtue of his promoter buying tickets to his fight and reselling them.

Rationally speaking, not only can his comments not be verified, which is enough to discard his statements due to the legalities involved with proving his claims, but building a fighter’s profile is much more multi-faceted than the sales of tickets.

The opponents fighters face, the battles they go through, the wins they accumulate all form a part of the myriad and complex nature of promoting a fighter. Anthony Joshua, having won an Olympic gold medal, was a recognizable fighter from the beginning, similar to how fighters such as Vasyl Lomachenko entered the professional ranks with a well-cultivated reputation due to his vast unbeaten amateur record. That might have been just one of the contributors to Joshua’s popularity.

Even if we entertain the notion of Joshua’s promoter, Matchroom, which is run by Eddie Hearn, buying and reselling tickets to generate interest, Joshua’s achievements are irrespective of his ticket sales. A two-time unified champion, Joshua has faced the necessary opponents in the ring to build up a recognizable status in boxing, thus Wilder’s assessment appears overscrutinized and ignores other facets that have led to Joshua’s popularity, including marketing, given Joshua’s appearances in commercials, amongst many other factors.

Overall, Joshua, like Wilder, has not done anything different in his career other than fight who he needed to, or wanted to. With a good team behind him, Joshua managed to rise to superstardom and owes this status to a number of notable opponents he’s faced including the likes of Wladimir Klitschko, Dillian Whyte, and even Wilder’s next slated opponent in former WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker (33-3, 23 KO’s).

When comparing both resumes, Wilder seems to lag behind notable names compared to Joshua, which already suggests that the choice of opponents played a more pivotal role than just ticket sales. While Wilder was also an Olympian as he managed to win bronze during his only appearance at the Olympics, Joshua has actually managed to capitalize on his Olympic gold-winning run, providing yet another reason for his popularity.

In conclusion, Joshua’s popularity cannot be simply explained by accusations of his promoter buying and reselling tickets. The entire concept of a fighter being ‘manufactured’ also appears to be a confusing statement; the more and better the fighter does with their career, the more this generates interest, thus increasing the fighter’s popularity.

Champions, in reality, are always made, as they go through the process of being promoted and fighting the requisite opponents to build themselves in the public eye, which generates more profits for them, their team, and other stakeholders.

The assertion that champions are born can be interpreted as Wilder being metaphorical and believing he is a true champion, yet champions are defined by the opponents they fight. When comparing who both fighters have fought, not only does Wilder fall under the same category of “being made,” as he would never have gotten in the public eye without his highlight knockout reels, but he has not yet proven to even have the better resume when analyzing who he fought.

Therefore, Wilder’s assertion appears incorrect, and his opinion does not appear to be well-rooted in actual facts but more so his own view of what constitutes a champion, which objectively speaking requires these same champions to put in the necessary work outside and inside the ring. Wilder, in comparison to AJ, has not done enough to match or exceed him in popularity given he has refused to fight opponents with a notable name or achievements, thus identifying his own hypocrisy and confusion regarding his own claims.