Dmitriy Salita offers Wilder opportunity to return against Franklin as talks with Ruiz Jr stall

Deontay Wilder is fastly approaching being absent from the ring for one year following his victory against Robert Helenius in October of last year, securing a first-round knockout of the “Nordic Nightmare.”

The former WBC world heavyweight champion had been due and expected to face former unified world heavyweight world champion Andy Ruiz Jr in a contest where the contest’s victor would be confirmed as Tyson Fury’s mandatory challenger for his WBC world title.

However, those talks between Wilder and Ruiz have broken down to reports and could see Wilder’s stint on the sidelines continue as his highly speculated and lucrative proposed bout with Anthony Joshua looms closer. Wilder-Joshua is speculated to take place in December or early 2024 in Saudi Arabia, meaning Wilder could have been sat on the sidelines for at least 14 months before the pair meet.

However, Dmitriy Salita may have a solution which would dig Wilder out of the inactivity hole he finds himself in.

When speaking to seconds out, the former fighter turned promoter proposed that Wilder face Salita’s heavyweight prodigy, Jermaine Franklin, if a bout with Ruiz can’t be secured for Wilder.

“We’re exploring a few different possibilities. I believe that a fight with [Franklin] and Deontay Wilder makes a lot of sense, because he’s fought all the top guys and is world class. I don’t know what Deontay Wilder has left after those three very difficult fights with Tyson Fury.

“It’s something that we’re interested in exploring. From what I understand, one day the fight with Andy Ruiz is on, the other it’s off. So it’s a very fluid situation.”

Salita’s offer makes at least competitive sense for Wilder due to Franklin’s performances against Anthony Joshua and more so against Dillian Whyte last December, where many ringside observers felt that Franklin had done enough to edge victory against Whyte despite the official scorecards suggesting otherwise.