Jared Anderson planning Deontay Wilder fight if Bronze Bomber can beat Zhilei

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Jared Anderson is targeting an all-American dust-up with Deontay Wilder later this year as he looks to propel himself towards the top of the heavyweight tree.

Anderson, previously touted as the future of the heavyweight division by Tyson Fury, boasts a perfect 17-0 professional record as one of the world’s most destructive rising stars.

The 24-year-old recently defeated Ryad Merhy via unanimous decision to continue his march towards the division’s marquee names, with Wilder awaiting as a potential stepping stone towards the elite stage.

Wilder is scheduled to face China’s Zhilei Zhang in Saudi Arabia this Saturday as he looks to reignite his title prospects after suffering a surprise defeat to Joseph Parker in December.

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Relive Tyson Fury’s incredible trilogy of fights with Deontay Wilder

Top Rank CEO Bob Arum told Sky Sports: “Wilder has a very tough fight coming up on Saturday with Zhilei Zhang, and if he wins, sure, we’d love to do that fight because it would be put Jared right up there among the top three or four heavyweights.

“But I I really believe that Zhang is gonna be too much for Wilder, I think Wilder has slipped a little bit.

“Zhang is an awfully good fighter, he’s a rough, tough heavyweight, but we’ll have to see what happens in that fight on Saturday.”

Anderson currently sits fourth in the WBO rankings, while being ranked fifth by the IBF, fifth by the WBC and 13th by the WBA.

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Watch highlights of Jared Anderson’s fifth-round stoppage victory over Andriy Rudenko

A meeting with Wilder is no given, however, as the Bronze Bomber prepares to encounter the impressive power of Zhang, who recently came up shy against Parker following standout back-to-back wins over Joe Joyce.

“If Wilder is not available then we’re going to look for the biggest possible opponent for Jared to fight,” Arum continued.

“We want to start moving Jared along, I know he’s young, but we really believe that he can compete with anybody in the heavyweight division.

“First we have to see who’s available and then we’ll make a decision. But right now, the plan is truly to fight Deontay Wilder.

“But again, I’m a little pessimistic about Wilder getting through the fight against Zhang.”

Groves: Could Okolie tempt Wilder into WBC title fight?

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George Groves believes Deontay Wilder may consider facing Lawrence Okolie in the future if he doesn’t see a clear path to another heavyweight world title fight

A potential blockbuster showdown with hard-punching heavyweight Deontay Wilder could be on the horizon for Lawrence Okolie after he claimed the WBC bridgerweight world title, says Sky Sports expert George Groves.

“I think, now, this is his time to capitalise on being a world champion,” Groves told Sky Sports.

“There are going to be a lot of heavyweights out there with big names, who are not huge, who are going to be thinking ‘Am I ever going to win the heavyweight world championship in the near future? Maybe not, but I can be world champion if I take on Lawrence Okolie’.

“I think, maybe, Wilder is the sort of character who goes ‘I’m such a big name, I’m a former heavyweight world champion, I can’t see me just getting a shot at a heavyweight world title any time soon, but why not become a two-weight world champion by fighting at bridgerweight?'”