Anthony Joshua Still Very Interested In Fighting Deontay Wilder
Unified IBF/WBA ‘Super’/WBO World champion Anthony Joshua (23-1, 21 KOs) is in the final days of preparation for his upcoming title defense against IBF Heavyweight mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev (28-1, 14 KOs) on December 12 at the Wembley Arena. But whenever you talk about Joshua, two prominent heavyweights always seem to creep up into the picture. That is either WBC World Heavyweight champion Tyson Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) or former WBC champ Deontay Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs).
It was once again the case during an interview for the DAZN special, “Off The Cuff With Anthony Joshua”. When asked about the possibility of a fight against Wilder, in particular, the 30-year-old from Watford, England says he is very interested in the fight.
“Yep, for sure. He’s another challenger in my division, in my era. It’s one that we made last year, a lucrative offer again, and it’s one he turned down. The offer still stands when he’s ready.
I’m not going anywhere anytime soon. So when he’s ready, when he’s man enough and mature enough to also not lie, be real.
It wasn’t a nice time when they were trying to tarnish my name and my reputation, but I dealt with it. So this time around, it’ll be good to get the real thing done and stop the PR stunts and get a real fight underway for the fans. And that’s what I want to do.”
CONTEXT IS CRITICAL
Much of what Joshua says about Wilder stems from failed negotiations in 2018 and 2019 for a fight between the two before Joshua’s shocking defeat to Andy Ruiz (33-2, 22 KOs) in June 2019.
Many would argue what the unified heavyweight champion said about Wilder carries some weight based on Wilder’s tweets. During an October 31 Twitter rant, the fighter who calls himself “Bomb Squad” admitted he was offered more money for a fight with Joshua than he was for his rematch loss to Fury.
At this point, it is up in the air whether we will ever see a fight between the two. Barriers are preventing the fight right now. Ironically enough, the key factor happens to be one Tyson Fury, someone both men hope to fight in 2021.
A couple of things are evident. Joshua is resentful of how he was perceived during their failed negotiations. And he still feels salty that Wilder found delight in his lone defeat as a pro. In short, the beef between Joshua and Wilder is far from over.
By: Michael Wilson Jr.