Anthony Joshua has accused Joseph Parker and his promoter of “acting” and warned his rival he has already begun preparations for their expected heavyweight unification title fight.
The IBF and WBA champion hopes terms will soon be agreed with WBO titlist Parker for a fight, potentially at London’s 02 Arena, early next year so that he can begin his training camp in the first week of January.
Joshua, 28, wants to fight three times in 2018 and most recently has seen the unorthodox video made by the New Zealander and his eccentric promoter David Higgins in which he is goaded for supposedly having a “glass jaw”.
Though he has been on holiday in Dubai he has already analysed his most recent performance, last month’s stoppage defeat of Carlos Takam, and is confident of applying what he has learned if the “talking” stops.
“It seems like everyone’s doing the talking for some people at the minute, so we’re just trying to go direct to the source,” Joshua told Press Association Sport.
“There’s one thing talking about what’s going on, and acting, but negotiations aren’t done over social media. That’s not where negotiations take place. Behind closed doors we’re keeping negotiations going.”
Referencing the potential difficulty of fighting at Wembley Stadium while it is occupied by Premier League Tottenham, Joshua continued: “It seems to only be in boxing: that’s not my job. I work with professionals and put them in place to care for these types of things.
“I would not get on the phone to call Harry (Kane), say ‘What’s happening, mate? Listen, we need a date. What are you renting it for? Yeah, we’re looking to fit in 85,000’... do you know what I’m saying?
“I should be focusing on how I’m going to knock out my next opponent. I’ll leave that to the people who I put in place: the professionals to take care of it
“We’re looking to fight early on in the year, to potentially fit in another two towards the middle and the end of the year.”
He is targeting those three fights in the coming 12 months to follow the bruising contest with Takam in which he suffered a nose injury from a head-butt, and when the stoppage of his challenger was booed by some of those present.
If Joshua felt frustrated on the night he has learned to see it as a positive since studying his display, and he said: “I watched it on my own. It was a great fight: a great learning fight.
“He was coming in low enough to pop up and head-butt me. It was a completely different style of fight but we adapted and got the job done. It was a mature performance on my behalf.
“It’s the first time I’ve been head-butted, in or out of the ring – for all those who’ve been head-butted I respect you, because I know what it’s like now – and it’s not nice.
“(But) it was a calculated performance due to the anticipation of what’s happening in 2018.”
Anthony Joshua was speaking in partnership with Destiny 2. Destiny 2 free trial is available across PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC from Tuesday, November 28th.