Deontay Wilder next fight: Former Anthony Joshua opponent lined up if Tyson Fury trilogy fails

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Deontay Wilder is in discussions to face Charles Martin if a planned trilogy fight with Tyson Fury falls through, according to Sports Illustrated.

Wilder was defeated by Fury back in February of last year, suffering his first professional loss in the process, with a third bout contracted to take place.

However, the rematch was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with Fury’s representatives stating in October that they believed the clause enforcing a third fight had expired.

Fury himself has since come out and said that he had "moved on" from any potential fight.

Wilder has begun mediation in an attempt to agree terms with Fury’s team, and is now going to take the case to arbitration, although that is only expected to result in a payout rather than a rematch inside the ring.

Meanwhile, Fury and Anthony Joshua are reportedly close to agreeing a two-fight deal, with the first bout to take place at some point in 2021, which would almost certainly rule out a Wilder rematch.

That has led to Wilder seeking alternative options should the Fury fight not occur as hoped, with Martin one of the potential candidates.

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Despite being a former IBF heavyweight champion, 34-year-old Martin has not fought since February 2020, and was defeated by Joshua inside two rounds back in 2016.

That loss caused him to drop the IBF belt, which he had held for just 85 days.

He is, however, ranked number two in the IBF rankings, and is therefore one of the standout choices for Wilder to fight against.

The focus for Wilder and his team in the short-term is the Fury case, which is reportedly due to be filed within two weeks.

Speaking about the case, Wilder’s manager Shelly Finkel stated: “We’re going to go for everything we can.

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“I’m a realist with what I am up against. We have an agreement. Even if we didn’t have an agreement, we gave Fury two shots.

“He has made more money than he has ever seen. Deontay was very kind to him while he was going through his mental problems.

“Forget everything else, morally he should give him his shot.”

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