The introduction and buildup is play, right now. Anthony Joshua is being presented to American sports fans, by and large for the first time for the majority, it must be said, with his presence on such shows as “First Take,” on ESPN.
The champ, the Brit champ, sat down with Max Kellerman and Molly Qerim..
..while Stephen A Smith chimed in remotely, and took questions regarding his Saturday tango against Andy Ruiz, and what could come in the near future for the 29 year old Englander, who holds a 22-0 mark.
Things kicked off with a flashback to a Tyson Fury appearance on First Take; Fury, too, is getting the build-up treatment, and so you have these behemoths, and their massive promotional machines, doing their damndest to get these guys on all the radar screens. Top Rank bossman Bob Arum was on the Everlast Talkbox pod today, and talked about the three tiers of sports stardom. Fury and AJ have aced the first and are inside the second, looking to get to the third.
AJ, for those that don't know, is always, from what I've seen, unruffled, classy, in good humor, the gentleman prize-fighter who looks the part of someone who SHOULD be able to get to that third stage, where casual sports fans know who you are, and latch on to you. They aren't merely aware of you, but they actually gravitate toward you and want to know and see more.
SAS told the Brit that he wanted to see Deontay Wilder v. AJ, all due respect to Fury, and we heard Wilder talk, in a flashback, and diss AJ's Saturday foe. “Why sit here and talk about it,” said AJ, “let's just meet in the ring and get it on! Talk is cheap, naw, I've done enough of that talkin' bizness, I'm a fighter, and that's how I wanna handle my business. Deontay Wilder, when you're ready, come see me, at the table, don't come through your promoter, come sit with me, man to man, across the table, and let's get this fight sorted. There's no pitty-patty, or he said-she said, me and him, mano a mano, hopefully me and him, we can negotiate for ourselves!”
Now, to interject: I've taken a step back from all this chatter. I won't be breathless, or get out of sorts about these big lugs fighting..or not fighting in timely fashion. Really, it is a level of acceptance…I know that all these big guns are going to do what they want, when they want…so I can either get fussy about it, get salty…or more so just comprehend that these are business decisions, made above and beyond my pay grade.
Max talked about that AJ v Wladimir Klitschko fight…
..and noted that AJ's mom has dipped, because he's not fought A siders since. He answered that other guys have fought cabbies while he was fighting solid scrappers. He said he had offered Ortiz, for example, a nice deal to box, but the Cuban turned it down. “This is what I love to do, there's no fear in my heart for any man, and whoever's serious and, like Andy Ruiz, put his name on a contract, for a fight with me, no nonsense.”
SAS then hopped in…he called Fury and AJ and Wilder the three headed monster. Is there anyone else out there that really will draw interest? Yes, me and Wilder should sit down and talk, AJ said…hours before Wilder announced that his next fight would be against Luis Ortiz, in September. That made it clear that Wilder has a path he wants to pursue, on his time frame..and that path doesn't cross paths with AJ, not this year, anyway. Again, my aside: Read in between the lines, and understand the signals being sent. No one but no one should be bringing up a AJ vs Wilder match for any time before 2020, some time in 2020.
Bottom line, AJ said, he wants to not just take part, but take over.
AJ ended that all those three monsters do want to be fighting each other, and so, message is…be patient, people. Let it simmer, make marination your friend.
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