Anthony Joshua doesn’t believe Deontay Wilder will step aside to allow Tyson Fury to fight him. A multi-million-pound heavyweight title unification between Joshua and Fury is within touching distance following the latter’s dethroning of Wilder in February.
A seventh-round TKO victory in Las Vegas saw ‘The Gypsy King’ claim the WBC heavyweight title and move a giant step closer to sharing the ring with ‘AJ’.
Prior to the coronavirus outbreak delaying their next outings, all that remained for the long-awaited Battle of Britain to take place later this year was for the pair to win their respective bouts with Kubrat Pulev and Wilder.
Both fights, however, have been delayed – with Joshua’s meeting with Pulev postponed until July and Fury’s trilogy match with Wilder delayed until October.
It’s been reported that Team Fury are eager to get out of their contractual obligation to have a third fight with Wilder in order to pursue an end-of-year unification fight with Joshua.
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I just highly doubt it
Anthony Joshua on if he thinks Deontay Wilder will step aside to let him fight Tyson Fury
Unified heavyweight champion Joshua is open to the idea, telling Sky Sports: “It would be amazing to tell Pulev, ‘I think it’s best if you step aside for now’ and to tell Wilder, ‘We have bigger fish to fry.’
“Enjoy your Alabama chicken while we get cracking in the UK! That fight needs to happen because there will never be another time like this again.”
But after further assessing the situation Wilder currently finds himself in, Joshua doesn’t foresee ‘The Bronze Bomber’ relinquishing his shot at redemption.
When asked by DAZN’s Chris Mannix if he believes Wilder would step aside, Joshua said: “No because I think the championship means a lot to these boys, I respect that.
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“As much as I would like them to, I just highly doubt it. I wouldn’t do it. Unfortunately, it won’t happen.”
Should the unthinkable happen and both Pulev and Wilder agree to sit on the sidelines, Joshua insists he’s more than prepared to take on his WBC counterpart.
“But if a miracle did come across and they both decided to I don’t need no warm-ups, I’m ready.”
Joshua, 30, is tentatively scheduled to defend his unified titles against Bulgaria’s Pulev at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on July 25.
Their meeting – which was first scheduled for October 2017 – was initially set to take place on June 20 but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Should Joshua’s first outing since reclaiming the unified heavyweight throne last December be delayed past July, his promoter Eddie Hearn believes the Olympian’s focus will shift to unifying the division.
The Matchroom Boxing chief told the London Evening Standard: “If it goes beyond that, the conversation may go straight to the fight with Tyson Fury in October or November. There’s a contract to fight Pulev and Fury has to fight Deontay Wilder, but anything is possible in this crazy world.
“It might get to the stage where if AJ has not boxed Pulev for months, he starts thinking he’s getting older, he doesn’t want the big fights to slide and this might be his only chance to become undisputed heavyweight champion. For AJ, it’s all about the legacy.”
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