In Brief

Deontay Wilder: Anthony Joshua is ‘begging’ for unification title fight

Promoter Eddie Hearn urges the American to focus on a bout with AJ not Fury

WBC champion Deontay Wilder says that Anthony Joshua and the British boxer’s promoters are “begging” him to agree to a world heavyweight unification fight.

Wilder retained his belt earlier this month after his bout against Tyson Fury was declared a split-decision draw. It was then reported by the BBC on 7 December that the WBC had sanctioned a direct rematch.

While both Wilder and Fury have spoken about a possible second fight, Joshua’s promoters Matchroom Sport have booked Wembley Stadium for the Brit’s first fight in 2019 on Saturday 13 April.

Speaking on Joe Rogan’s podcast about a possible unification against IBF, WBO and WBA champion Joshua, “Bronze Bomber” Wilder said: “They’re definitely begging now. His management have been trying to reach out to mine all of a sudden.

“He could have had this opportunity, he had many opportunities; he could have fought Luis Ortiz, he could have fought me, he had a chance to fight [Tyson] Fury.

“But people want to know who’s the best, especially after seeing this Fury fight, and I’ve been trying to show people who is the best. I’m always going to say I’m the best until I’m defeated.” 

‘He’s got to fight Joshua’

Matchroom Sport managing director Eddie Hearn says that Wilder is the “absolute first and golden choice” for Joshua and he has urged the American to focus on the unification rather than the rematch against Fury.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Hearn said: “If Wilder wants to be undisputed - he’s always gone on in his career about one face, one name, one king of the division - the only way you can do that is to win the belts.

“Anthony Joshua has 75% of the belts, but we want that 25%. If he [Wilder] does want to create a legacy, he’s got to fight Joshua, then he can fight Fury. But he may go straight into the Fury fight.

“These next couple of weeks are going to be very interesting. It’s great times in the heavyweight division, anything can happen.”

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