3 minutes read

Deontay Wilder Claims Joshua Would Retire In Bizarre Self-Important Rant

Deontay Wilder Claims Joshua Would Retire In Bizarre Self-Important Rant featured image
US' Deontay Wilder (L) and New Zealand's Joseph Parker celebrate at the end of their heavyweight boxing match at the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh on December 23, 2023. (Photo by Fayez NURELDINE / AFP) (Photo by FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP via Getty Images)

Deontay Wilder claims to have undergone a spiritual awakening, attributed to the South American indigenous brew of ayahuasca. This brew is said to facilitate experiences centered around self-healing and spiritual discovery, which may have caused Wilder’s heightened spiritual awareness to lead him to an unknown individual who overheard a conversation between Anthony Joshua and a team member. This conversation suggested that Joshua would retire if he lost to Otto Wallin.

Despite the seeming unlikelihood of Anthony Joshua (27-3, 24 KO’s) and his team discussing such matters openly, especially during fight week, Deontay Wilder (43-3-1, 42 KO’s) insisted that Joshua’s plans involved retirement in case of a loss to Otto Wallin (26-2, 14 KO’s) on December 23.

Somebody came to me because they overheard them [Joshua and his team] talking,” Wilder mentioned in an interview with 78SPORTSTV. “They came into my room, and they started [spilling the beans] because I’m a nice guy. People like when I leave an impression on them.” Wilder added.

However, Wilder failed to complete this story, launching into a minutes-long explanation about his likability and positive impact on people. He never fully substantiated the revelation, mostly diverting to talk about himself, his relationships, and various unrelated topics, bordering on narcissism. The incomplete claims regarding Joshua’s retirement cannot be corroborated, raising questions about the unidentified person’s credibility and potential security concerns in Saudi Arabia.

Wilder did appear more coherent when discussing Anthony Joshua avoiding him. Joshua refrained from engaging in such conversations during the build-up to his December 23 fight with Otto Wallin, staying focused on the task at hand. In contrast, Wilder willingly delved into discussions about Joshua instead of concentrating on his own opponent, Joseph Parker (34-3, 23 KO’s), whom he lost to on the same night.

Wilder denied being fixated on Joshua in the lead-up to his fight with Parker, stating, “If nobody asked me a question about him [Joshua], which is my choice if I want to talk about him or not, I never talk about the man.” However, there are numerous interviews where Wilder continuously made remarks about Joshua or his willingness to fight him, contradicting his claim of avoiding the topic.

While discussions about whether Joshua or Wilder wanted to fight each other may be redundant, it’s evident that Wilder was focused on Joshua during the build-up to his fight with Parker. Unfortunately, this unnecessary focus did not work in his favor, as he suffered his third career loss to Joseph Parker on December 23.

Moreover, Wilder’s assertions that Joshua avoided him went up in smoke when it was revealed after December 23 that both heavyweights had already signed a contract to face each other, contingent on them successfully overcoming their opponents on that date.

We signed the contract to fight Deontay Wilder,Matchroom chairman and promoter of Joshua, Eddie Hearn, stated following Joshua’s match against Wallin.

Which is irrelevant now, but we did sign and that fight was going to be made but boxing’s boxing, and we got to look for another opponent.”

Based on the circumstances we now know, there was never a valid point in discussing who avoided whom, as it now turns out both fighters―or at least Anthony Joshua―had been planning to face each other in the near future. This revelation underscores the notion that Wilder may have been excessively distracted leading up to his match against Parker.

In any case, Wilder may benefit more from concentrating on his own career and life, working towards rebuilding himself into a genuine contender, rather than dwelling on topics concerning another fighter like Joshua. Joshua appears to remain actively focused on his career, aiming to become a three-time world champion and possibly undisputed, while Wilder’s career seems on the brink of collapse, requiring him to recuperate from his recent loss and work his way back into potential title contention.