Opinion | Mar 05 2018

The bumpy and hazardous road to Anthony Joshua v Deontay Wilder

Chris Walker considers what Saturday's heavyweight rumble means for Anthony Joshua vs Deontay Wilder
Anthony Joshua vs Deontay Wilder
Anthony Joshua & Joseph Parker Press Conference  |  Action Images/Andrew Couldridge

THE Q train that runs from Brooklyn to 96th Street in Manhattan was a hive of activity as a frantic Saturday night morphed into a Sunday morning. Congested carriages filled with young and old, locals and tourists, drunks and the wise, discussions raged focusing on heavyweight possibilities as passengers tried to solve the conundrums of the famed division.

Before the train pulled into the Atlantic Avenue terminal, the platform resembled something of a carnival as screams of “Bomb Squad” were only muted by the thudding sound of underground vehicles making their way through the veins of New York.

This jovial atmosphere came from what had happened shortly before inside the atmospheric Barclays Center where Deontay Wilder overcame a monumental crisis – yes it was a crisis – to retain his WBC heavyweight crown against angry Cuban, Luis Ortiz, with a brutal 10th round stoppage. The same supporters had booed viciously in the contest’s early sessions as the bout contained the awkwardness of a disastrous first date. But when the exchanges became more frequent from the fourth stanza onwards, it became a must-see affair that was a fight in every sense of the word.