Mauricio Sulaiman admits Wilder v Joshua could still happen in April

The WBC could give the go-ahead for a lucrative heavyweight title unification fight between Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder, despite ordering the latter to have a rematch with Tyson Fury.

Wilder retained the WBC’s heavyweight crown earlier this month in a draw which split opinion among experts.

Many believe that Fury had done enough to win the fight despite being knocked down twice but nobody could argue against the notion that it was one of the best heavyweight bouts of recent times, mainly due to the remarkable comeback Fury made after so long away from the sport.

Last week, the WBC sanctioned a ‘direct’ rematch between the pair.

That looked to have put the prospect of a unification fight between Joshua and Wilder on ice, which prior to the American’s bout with Fury, was at the top of many boxing fans’ wishlists.

However, WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman has claimed they could perform a U-turn and book the mega-money showdown if Wilder files a request to face ‘AJ’.

“That’s a fight that everybody has wanted to see for a long time,” Sulaiman told The Independent.

“But unfortunately it did not materialise in September of this year.

“I do not want to anticipate anything but if there’s something for the WBC board to vote on we will do so.

“When there’s a unification bid as a request, of course, we will consider it but the WBC has voted for Deontay Wilder against Tyson Fury next.

“We will take everything into action on the first week of January.

“The WBC voted for the rematch. If Wilder has a request, every request has to be considered and reviewed but, for now, the WBC voted for the rematch and we have not yet received any other scenario.”

Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn is keen to have Wilder face ‘AJ’ on April 13, the date for the Olympic gold medallist’s next Wembley bout.

And he believes the American, who wants to unify the heavyweight division, should be doing everything in his power to make the fight happen.

“If Wilder wants to be undisputed – he’s always gone on in his career about one face, one name, one king of the division – the only way you can do that is to win the belts,” said Hearn.

“Anthony Joshua has 75 per cent of the belts, but we want that 25 per cent. If he (Wilder) does want to create a legacy, he’s got to fight Joshua, then he can fight Fury.

“But he may go straight into the Fury fight. These next couple of weeks are going to be very interesting.

“It’s great times in the heavyweight division, anything can happen.”

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