Anthony Joshua now has his sights set on adding Deontay Wilder’s WBC heavyweight belt to his collection.
The British heavyweight took the WBO title from Joseph Parker last month to become a unified champion and, while Wilder may not be his next opponent, it’s inevitable that the two will go head-to-head in the near future.
Negotiations with Wilder’s team have proven difficult, despite Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn recently revealing that the American has been offered five times more than his biggest career purse.
Boxing fans can only hope that the numbers prove too much for Wilder to turn down.
Hopefully the contest will be more entertaining that Joshua’s latest bout, which came against Parker at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff.
Joshua was taken the distance for the first time in his professional career, eventually winning via unanimous decision, but he was prevented from the knockout by a combination of some cautious refereeing and a realisation that he needed to win.
The 28-year-old has revealed that he “sacrificed my boxing entertaining” because he wanted to guarantee a meeting with Wilder.
Joshua regrets missing the KO
At a fan session in London, Joshua said: “There were times in there where I thought, 'Ah let me explode on this guy' then (I thought), 'Woah, woah, I have to think about Wilder next, let me get back to doing what I'm doing' and in a way it was good because now when Wilder steps up, I'm going to take it to him hard.
“As important as it was to capture the WBO belt, looking back I wish I knocked him out.”
Parker caught wind of Joshua’s comments and he isn’t happy.
He responded on Twitter: “Acting like the knockout was an option 😂”.
The New Zealander is right. Joshua’s hopes of extending his 20-fight knockout streak were never on the cards, with the Brit even admitting his game plan was to focus on the jab.
"My strategy in there was stick behind the jab," he said, per Sky Sports. "It's one of the most important weapons.
“The old saying is the right hand can take you around the block, but a good jab will take you around the world, and that secured another world championship belt.”
Joshua showed in the Parker fight that he can slog it out if he has to. Against Wilder, though, he'll definitely be looking for that knockout blow.
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