Who Will Deontay Wilder Fight Next?
Tuscaloosa native Deontay Wilder isn't ready to hang up the boxing gloves just yet, but who's going to be the next man to stand across the ring from him?
Wilder (42-2-1, 41 KO) lost his trilogy bout against Tyson Fury last October after Fury handed him his first loss in February 2020. The fight was delayed multiple times, first by COVID-19, then by television scheduling conflicts, then by an announcement of a Fury fight with Anthony Joshua. Despite the defeat, the 36-year-old is planning on fighting again, confirming so during the May unveiling of his statue in Tuscaloosa.
"I must continue my journey," Wilder said.
Fortunately for one of the best heavyweights of this generation, there are options, many of which would have boxing fans focused intently on their screens on fight night.
This fight has been on fans' radar for some time. Ruiz (34-2, 22 KO) became a household name when he upset Joshua in 2019, but has since fought only twice. He is booked to face Luis Ortiz, a man Wilder knocked out twice, on Sept. 4. Ruiz has said he doubts Wilder fights again but wants the matchup if he does. He and Wilder are both top-five heavyweights who have no intentions of a clinical masterclass; make this fight, and someone gets sparked.
Chisora (33-12, 23 KO) just took a big win over an aging Kubrat Pulev this past weekend, avenging a 2016 loss and snapping a three-fight skid. He then called out Wilder. Plainly, the Bronze Bomber likely isn't interested in this fight, as he isn't going to fight far below himself in the world rankings. He needs a win, though, and his power guarantees that he's a constant threat to Chisora if this unlikely pairing comes next.
The British fighter, not named Fury, who should interest Wilder is Whyte. He's also fresh off a loss to Fury, but had won 12 of 13 prior to that. This bout has been simmering for years, and with Fury presumably retired, makes more sense now than ever. Whyte (28-3, 19 KO) could be argued as the most likely next fight for Wilder on this list, and with Joshua still embroiled in his rivalry with Oleksandr Usyk, Wilder vs Whyte is the grudge match to make happen next.