Senior boxing journalist @JamesDielhenn
“I heard [Wilder and Fury] we have a third battle lined up towards the end of the year, but we have to throw a curved ball ”
Last update: 1/21/20 12:01 AM
Anthony Joshua insists that a “curvy” offer could induce Deontay Wilder into an undisputed heavyweight championship fight, and has revealed he has held meetings to discuss how to set it up.
WBC champion Wilder will face Tyson Fury in a rematch on February 22 while Joshua will defend his newly recovered IBF, WBA and WBO titles against Kubrat Pulev or Oleksandr Usyk, whose representatives he met for negotiations last week.
But Joshua’s focus is already on Wilder, and he said Sky Sports News: “We had meetings. The same meeting with the manager of Usyk, subsequently we had another meeting to potentially put up for sale an offer to be consolidated [a fight with Wilder] before they even quarreled and before I have my next fight.
“Everyone wants Wilder to win because [a fight with me] that’s what everyone wants to see. Wilder has a large right hand, I have a large left hand. It’s a great boxing match.
“We had a meeting about it. It has great potential. I heard [Wilder and Fury] we have a third battle lined up towards the end of the year, but we have to throw a curved ball in there.
“Something that catches Wilder’s attention on the condition that he win so that he thinks about himself: ‘Even if I have a rematch clause, I will see how I can manipulate my contract, get out of it and fight for the undisputed championship.'”
Wilder and Fury, who fought for a draw 13 months ago, have already talked about a third fight later in 2020.
Joshua said of Fury: “He bet Charles Martin to beat me, he bet Joseph Parker to beat me! He’s a bit of a waffler. Fury does what Fury does. Did he say he talked to Conor McGregor on the phone? That was even a lie!
“I am supporting Fury because I imagine that local children can witness the undisputed championship fight on their doorstep. I wish it were here in the UK.”
Joshua must first defend his belts against one of his mandatory challengers, Pulev (IBF) or Usyk (WBO).
“What I won’t fight, I’ll fight eventually,” he said. “In the heavyweight division everyone is invited to challenge, so even if it doesn’t happen the first time, one of them will fight me in the future.
“We’ll end up fighting anyway.”
Former undisputed cruiserweight champion Usyk knocked out Tony Bellew in Britain and won Olympic gold along with Joshua in London 2012.
But Joshua embraced a fight with Usyk, saying, “We mean business. We want to fight the best. I go to those meetings. I let people know that I’m talking about that life.
“He’s the best cruiserweight we’ve ever seen and I want to compete with him [as he] gets to heavyweight. People say “he’s a cruiserweight” but look at what phenomenal fighter Evander Holyfield has done.
“Who can say Usyk can’t keep on doing great things. But before seeing that potential he has to overcome the big guys in the division. I’ll be the first to challenge him.”
Asked if his next bout would be a homecoming in the UK at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Joshua said, “Why not. A great opportunity. Having the opportunity to go to Tottenham is a blessing. If Tottenham is open then Tottenham is. “