Anthony Joshua takes surprising shot at heavyweight rival Deontay Wilder

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Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder have been circling each other for a few years now and a bout between the two seems inevitable sooner rather than later.

Wilder, the WBC heavyweight champion, takes on Gerald Washington on Saturday night with his title on the line, but he has only received the shot because original contender, Andrzej Wawrzyk, failed a drugs test.

Neither of the men the Bronze Bomber has been slated to face would constitute as household names, and Joshua, quite alarmingly, has suggested that Wilder needs to face more proven foes.

"I think Wilder needs to fight better opposition," Joshua exclusively told Sky Sports. "Washington is good, but he's up and coming still. It was a last minute call-up as well.

"I know his last opponent failed a drugs test unfortunately, but I would love for him to postpone it for another month and get someone who could train for a world championship fight.

"I'm speaking from a fan's perspective, because I get it. After three years as a professional, they want more, so after nine years as a fan I'm saying: 'Wilder we want more from you', and there is nothing wrong with that.

"Good luck against Washington, but I think the other contenders in the heavyweight division need challenging as well, so I think it would be good for Wilder to force these type of fights, rather than taking easy pickings."

Quite the statement from AJ, really. Who has the IBF heavyweight champion really fought?

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He has a date with Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley on April 29, but this fight is really the first one where fans don't believe he will demolish the competition in the opening rounds.

And he could still plausibly do that against Wladimir anyway.

Wilder has beaten Eric Molina - like AJ - and knocked Audley Harrison out in the first round. It's fair to say that he hasn't beaten any real, top pedigree names, but how many are there in the heavyweight division?

AJ will have to dispose of Klitschko - a man arguably past his prime - before he can say he has put away any big names leaving these comments feeling a little premature, at the very least.

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