Finkel plots Wilder's route back to the Joshua sweepstakes

Shelly Finkel says Deontay Wilder could return to the Anthony Joshua sweepstakes if the former WBC world heavyweight champion can display an impressive showing against a notable name.

Wilder (43-3-1, 42KOs) had all been set to face Joshua (27-3, 24KOs) in March if he had beaten the former WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker on December 23 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Parker, though, scuppered those best-laid plans with a dominating beat down over 12 rounds to claim a comfortable unanimous points decision win against Wilder. The defeat of Wilder saw Joshua change course, as he will now face Francis Ngannou on March 8, again in Riyadh, instead.

Shinkel, a co-manager of Wilder, is hoping his fighter returns on the undercard of Joshua-Ngannou if approached to do so. Finkel hopes Wilder can prove his doubters wrong regarding his last performance and gives Daniel Dubois as an example of someone who was able to change people’s perception of him following his stoppage win over Jarrel Miller.

“We would love that. If there was an opportunity, we’d be glad to consider it. We’d love to go back there and love to be on that card if it’s possible. If that opportunity presents itself, he’ll be ready,” Finkel said to The Sun.

“You can’t tell in advance, but I’d assume that Joshua would beat Ngannou. Then hopefully, we’ll see the Deontay of old, and he wins. Then, of course, if those two were to happen, it would still be natural for Deontay and Joshua to meet.

“Go back two fights. People were saying Daniel Dubois was a quitter. He sure didn’t quit against Jarrell Miller and redeemed himself. Three fights ago, people said things about Joshua, he looked very good in his fight with Wallin and that redeemed himself in the same way. So in a similar situation, Deontay has a good opponent in the next fight and he looks the way we know him to look. Hopefully, we have him right back there with Joshua.”

Finkel said that Wilder’s priority would be to rematch Parker as soon as possible but is open to facing other contenders, such as Zhilei Zhang (26-1-1, 21KOs), a prospective fight which Finkel has refused to rule out as a viable option for Deontay.

“Look, we would love Parker but that hasn’t been discussed. But in either case, if Zhang was presented, that would be a big fight,” Finkel continued to add.

“If that was on the same card as the fight with Joshua and Ngannou, I think Deontay and Zhang would rival that. It would be a phenomenal show for the public again. I think the job that they did putting on all the heavyweights together on that card was wonderful.”