• The media conference was announced and everyone flew in for it instantly. These people make stuff happen.
• Wilder has been working in the gym a lot with Malik Scott, who is trying to break down the art of boxing.
So it seems we are now just one successful night away from Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder finally getting it on next year — but they could have saved us all some stress by picking easier fights.
It is not out of the question that Joshua loses against Otto Wallin or Wilder loses to Joseph Parker on Saturday night — I’m not picking against either of them, but neither would be the biggest upset this year, or even this month.
In particular, Wallin is no walkover for Joshua and it is a very risky fight given what is at stake.
I am assuming it just came down to what the Saudis requested. I don’t know who is making the matches but someone knows they need meaningful fights if they are paying so much money. Ultimately, everyone is doing what they’re told because the money is really good.
The media conference was announced and everyone flew in for it instantly. These people make stuff happen.
But don’t get me wrong — although these are risky fights for both, they are certainly winnable too. If they can’t get through these, then Wilder and Joshua fighting each other isn’t really of interest anyway.
You want real fights beforehand if these are like two semi-finals — you want something good, something meaty.
A big southpaw like Wallin is terrible tactics if you are signed up to fight Wilder next, but maybe he didn’t have any choice in the matter or maybe he just doesn’t care now. He believes in himself to do what he needs to do against anyone.
Wallin has said Joshua is mentally shot and past his peak and I can see why he would say that as an opponent.
He might just be saying it to try to get a reaction — to get under his skin and get a bite back. Joshua has done some bizarre things of late, like his outburst after being beaten by Oleksandr Usyk.
After the last fight he jumped out of the ring, did a lap and drank some stout with Conor McGregor. He has also gone and sat in the dark for a few days.
He even gave Robert Helenius some stick in their final face-off and Helenius, poor fella, had come in on a few days’ notice to save the show.
Joshua asked him what he’s looking at? Maybe it’s just Joshua’s new thing, his way to get up for the fight.
He’s had enough mega-fights in his life so maybe he needs a bit of hate for his opponent to get in the zone nowadays.
I don’t think Wilder will need to do the same and I don’t anticipate him dropping the ball against Parker.
Wilder has been working in the gym a lot with Malik Scott, who is really trying to break down the art of boxing.
I’m just wondering, are we one camp away from Wilder putting it all together, becoming this slick fighter with his extreme power with it?
He’s not going to be able to blow away Parker like he did with someone like Dominic Breazeale who is upright and easy to hit. Parker will be a lot harder to nail but I think Wilder will get rid of him eventually.
Then if they do both win, we are told the fight is definitely happening next. It’s a great fight for the division and one that will excite everyone, even without any belts. I don’t see why they wouldn’t want to fight each other at this stage - it really is now or never.
Hand on heart, I think Wilder wins — but we will know more after 23 December.
Joshua has not been great of late — his past two fights have been a bit flat but then, on the other hand, Wilder has only had one round in two years. That’s what makes this fight fascinating.
These heavyweights have been waiting to fight each other for a generation. It’s a strange era at the moment with American TV networks pulling out of boxing and disintegrating.
In the UK we have three major broadcasters in Sky, TNT and DAZN which should lead to more opportunities for fighters, but in reality this sort of competition can lead to more roadblocks in negotiations and therefore fewer of the fights we actually want to see happening.
It’s a monster card on 23 December — they’ve literally dressed them all up as zombies for the promotional trailer in order to signify that.
The question is whether or not they should have just put Wilder and Joshua together this Christmas to avoid the risk of one of them getting beaten.I think they will both come through unscathed, but stranger things have happened.