Deontay Wilder makes unlikely comparison between Anthony Joshua and Muhammad Ali

Andy Ruiz Jr. v Anthony Joshua 2 (Clash on the Dunes) - Press Conference

Deontay Wilder has put aside his supposed rivalry with Anthony Joshua and claimed that the Brit could imitate the legacy of the great Muhammad Ali.

A lot has been said about the rivalry between the Bronze Bomber and AJ, but now the American has sent a message to Joshua, should he need it ahead of his upcoming rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr.

The current WBC heavyweight champion has claimed that Joshua’s career would and should not end if he suffers back-to-back defeats to the Mexican and cited Ali’s comeback story as an inspiration for the former champion, should he fail to regain his titles in Saudi Arabia.

Eventually, though, the 6ft 6in Londoner was stunned at Madison Square Garden by 19st underdog Ruiz in June.

Instead, however, Wilder wants Joshua to recall the inspirational journey of one of the greatest sportsmen of all time Ali.

MUHAMMAD ALI

He said, as per The Sun: "A lot of people say 'If he loses the second time he's done' - no he's not!

"He's not done, that's up to him, how many people have come back and reigned?

“Look at Muhammad Ali, he reigned for longer in his second time as champion than he did the first time, that's how you become a two or three-time champion.

"So, it's not over when you lose. You just have to start from the beginning.”

Despite these words of encouragement, Wilder couldn’t help but give AJ a knock too. The 34-year-old has claimed that he still feels as though Joshua will be left with his hand and knees laid on the canvas.

BOX-HEAVYWEIGHT-RUIZ-JOSHUA

“In my honest opinion it doesn't matter who wins, may the best man win, but if I had to pick a winner, I would prefer Ruiz to win.

"Not only will negotiations be easier, Joshua played around with us for four months and we tried to tell people about Eddie Hearn moving the goalposts.

"I tried my best to give the fans what they want to see, I tried, and I know he's in a whole other country and he can misperceive people and manipulate.

"Ruiz will be a bigger fight than Joshua. I say that as I feel he'll beat him again and once he does it a second time, yeah, he's way bigger.

Deontay Wilder Media Workout

"He has the Mexicans behind him and the Hispanics, they love boxing, they love it, and he's American too, he's got a huge population behind him.

"But I don't have time to waste in this sport, it's a young man's game so I'm trying to get the biggest fights.”

Wilder has a rematch of his own to prepare for; he faces Luis Ortiz later this week.

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