Deontay Wilder 'very confident' Joseph Parker is his next fight
WBC world heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder is "realistically confident" his next fight will be a unification bout with WBO champ Joseph Parker.
While Britain continues to lap up the glory as the centre of world boxing's heavyweight division on the back of Anthony Joshua's heroics, American Wilder is a voice that refuses to be silenced.
He has been urging Parker for a unification fight for months and that has ramped up over the last fortnight as the Kiwi prepares to tackle Razvan Cojanu, with the big Romanian a late replacement for Britain's Hughie Fury who withdrew citing a back injury.
Wilder's plan remains for he and Parker to fight for the WBO and WBC belts with the winner then taking on Joshua who owns the IBF and WBA belts to find the true champion of the world.
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"I'm realistically confident that that fight is gonna happen," Wilder told Fight Hype on Thursday.
"If things goes as planned and nobody changes their mind I'm very confident that this is going to go on. And when it do, you gotta do nothing but salute Joseph Parker."
It's fine in theory but the hurdle for Wilder will be the preoccupation with the lucrative UK market by Parker's backers at Duco Events. Duco boss David Higgins does like to "have options" though in this ever-changing fight game.
But Wilder's purses for fights in the United States are dwarfed by what is going on in Britain, even below the title fights.
Having had their campaign setback by Fury, Duco need to make up lost ground. A mandatory with Fury remains on the table and they have been open about their liking for a fight with pumped up British cruiserweight Tony Bellew.
Respected American boxing writer Dan Rafael believes Wilder is a route that Parker should explore if he gets past Cojanu on Saturday night.
Rafael described a Parker v Wilder matchup as "a great fight, a toss-up fight" given their contrasting styles.
"When I went to cover the Deontay Wilder title defence against Gerald Washington in Birmingham Alabama this past February, Joseph Parker was there at the fight. He told me he was there to watch Deontay Wilder as a scouting mission because that was a fight that he wanted," Rafael told Trackside Radio.
"There was a lot of conversation about maybe we can make a fight between Deontay Wilder and Joseph Parker to unify those titles late in the summer.
"I think that would be a great fight. Joe said very specifically as did Kevin Barry that they would hope that at some point in the not too distant future that, as much as they like defending the title in New Zealand, they wanted to expand the market, to come to the United States and try and make a name for themselves.
"Joe is obviously familiar with the states, he's spent a lot of time here training in Las Vegas, he came to the Deontay Wilder fight, his last fight against Andy Ruiz was televised by HBO here in the United States. I would hope he would look to have another fight in America and I would somehow make that Wilder fight and the winner of that fight gets the possible winner of Klitschko versus Joshua rematch. That would be a great scenario in my opinion."
So who wins in they ey of Rafael?
"It's a tough fight, they're both strong guys. Deontay is definitely the bigger puncher, Joe is the better boxer ... it's a good style matchup.
"Deontay is awkward, I think Joe throws straighter punches. Deontay has shown probably he can be shaken with a good shot more-so than Joe has been. For me it's a toss-up fight."