Wilder must beat Fury as Joshua fight is 'way overdue', says Hagler

A heavyweight unification bout between Deontay Wilder and Anthony Joshua is "way overdue" according to Marvin Hagler.

Former boxer Marvin Hagler.

Former boxer Marvin Hagler.   -  Getty Images

Marvin Hagler hopes Deontay Wilder beats Tyson Fury so he can take on Anthony Joshua in a heavyweight unification bout he believes is "way overdue".

WBC champion Wilder and Fury fought out a controversial draw at Staples Center in December 2018, with the latter knocked down twice and somehow getting up from the canvas in a dramatic 12th round.

The pair will renew their rivalry in Las Vegas on Saturday and Hagler – the former undisputed middleweight champion – hopes it proves to be a significant step towards the American meeting IBF, WBA and WBO king Joshua in the ring.

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"It's great to see the heavyweights come back into the picture again, because they've been out of focus for a long time," Hagler told Omnisport ahead of the Laureus World Sports Awards.

"Guys like Tyson Fury bring a lot of excitement; he's a character. And Wilder is a type of person who's unpredictable – you really don't know what kind of style he's going to come into the fight with.

"I don't think he's going to fight Fury the same way as the first time. I believe this time too that he's going to make sure that if he gets him down, he's not going to be able to get up.

"I'm looking forward to the fight. It's an unpredictable fight because you don't know what game plan they're going to have going into this fight.

"I can't predict anybody, but I'd like to see Wilder get a shot at it because I'd like to see him and Anthony Joshua, because that fight is way overdue.

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"I don't think now it's about money, it's a personal thing between the two of them: who wants to be champion of the world?"

Speaking about the Laureus World Sports Awards, Hagler added: "I think this is our 18th year that we've been here. It's a great thing to see Laureus with the 20th anniversary this year, everyone's excited about that.

"I can't believe I've been here 18 years, just with all the other great celebrities in the sports world, getting to know them and getting to see that everything we do is volunteering, so it's a great feeling when you're able to give something back and that's what all of us are doing."