IT’S the most unconventional kind of victory, but Deontay Wilder may have brought about the downfall of Anthony Joshua without even having to put a glove on him.
The two heavyweights, at one time both champions in the division, have been linked for nearly two years now but have so far not come close to sharing a ring. They instead defended their respective titles against other opponents, all the while claiming their right to the number one spot in the division. Then, of course, just like that, they were no longer both champions.
Two weeks before Joshua lost to Andy Ruiz Jnr in New York, Deontay Wilder demolished mandatory challenger Dominic Breazeale inside a round with a mammoth right hand. Joshua watched it. He even praised it. But what he didn’t anticipate was that memories of the knockout shot – and the impact it caused on the heavyweight scene – would pollute his mind on the night he should have been thinking only of Andy Ruiz Jnr.