Anthony Joshua has revealed that he believes Deontay Wilder’s comments about him may be motivated more by a “PR campaign” than a genuine desire to get in the ring.
The undefeated IBF, WBA (Super) and WBO heavyweight champion has been linked with fighting the American during the past couple of years, although attempts to organise the bout have been frustrated by breakdowns in negotiations.
“He said he wanted to fight me for so long,” he commented. “Now, unless he does, I’m looking at it as a PR campaign to build his name off my back.
“He talks about me all the time. But doesn’t live up to it, does he? He doesn’t fight for what he believes in.
“I don’t think he will fight me next because I’m hearing Ortiz turned down our offer because he has something in the pipeline to fight Wilder.
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“I’m an honest guy – if I didn’t want to fight Wilder then I would say I’m not ready to fight Wilder yet.”
Wilder has repeatedly reiterated his desire to fight Joshua and his co-manager Shelly Finkel stated yesterday that he is hoping he will take on the 29-year-old along with Tyson Fury and Luis Ortiz in his next three fights.
Allegations have been made by both fighters’ camps, with Wilder’s entourage suggesting that Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn has attempted to price them out of the fight and Hearn stating that he believes Wilder would turn down the bout even if the pair were offered a 50/50 split.
Joshua also admitted that he would end his career disappointed if he never fights Wilder or Fury.
“[It would be] a massive, massive regret,” he said. “If the fights happened then I would be able to finish boxing with a smile on my face.
“I’d be happy to fight Wilder, Fury and Luis Ortiz, then I’ve done Wladimir Klitschko, Alexander Povetkin, Joseph Parker and can add Wilder and Fury to that.”
Joshua is currently preparing for his upcoming US debut against Andy Ruiz Jr at Madison Square Garden on June 1. However, his latest comments suggest that he agrees with the fans’ assertions that a fight between him and Wilder needs to happen.