Deontay Wilder Trainer Malik Scott on Snags in Joshua Fight Talks: ‘It’s a Real Frustrating Situation’

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Trainer Malik Scott isn’t too pleased by the scuttlebutt concerning his top charge, former heavyweight titlist Deontay Wilder.

Earlier this week, promoter Eddie Hearn seemingly pumped the brakes on a potential fight in Saudi Arabia early next year between his client, Anthony Joshua, and Wilder, despite the fact that both sides are in agreement. Hearn blamed the sudden hitch on the turbulence of the business climate in Saudi Arabia and suggested the fight could even take place outside of that country.

“Politically, it sounds like there’s a lot going on,” Hearn told Boxing King Media. “It doesn’t just have to happen in Saudi Arabia. There are now other talks about other countries that it could take place in. …There is a movement of management and ownership of boxing in Saudi and it’s up to them what they want to do. If they don’t do Joshua-Wilder maybe it goes somewhere else.”

When asked to respond to Hearn’s claims, Scott expressed his dismay with the situation.

“It’s a real frustrating frustration, because to me, out of everybody, Deontay is the one, as far as activity, is the one that misses out,” Scott told ESNews. “It’s a lot of promises, but it seems the promises are being broken a little bit. But we’ll see.”

Wilder (43-2-1, 42 KOs) has not fought since starching Robert Helenius in one round in October of last year. That was Wilder’s first fight in 12 months since his 11th-round stoppage loss to Tyson Fury in the third fight of their trilogy. It was presumed he would fight Andy Ruiz earlier this spring but talks for that fight broke down over the purse.

Meanwhile, Joshua (26-3, 23 KOs) has fought twice this year—a unanimous decision over Jermaine Franklin in April and a seventh-round knockout of Helenius last month—and has expressed his desire for a third fight in a single calendar year.

Sean Nam is the author of Murder on Federal Street: Tyrone Everett, the Black Mafia, and the Last Golden Age of Philadelphia Boxing.

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