Speaking on ESPN’s First Take this week, unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua attempted to make things very clear: He is ready and willing to fight WBC champ Deontay Wilder.
The British champion opened the door to a fight with Wilder, asking only that it occur on April 13 at Wembley Stadium in London, England, and confirming the venue is already booked.
— First Take (@FirstTake) December 13, 2018
“As I said, I’m willing to fight Deontay Wilder, April 13 in London,” Anthony Joshua said plainly. “I don’t know what else I have to do to get that message across. He’s more interested in fighting Tyson Fury [again]. Tyson Fury holds no world titles.
“I can’t control what Deontay Wilder does,” he continued. “I can’t control what Tyson Fury does, or even as far as what they say. What I can control is what I say and what I’m doing. I made sure with the negotiations, I booked the date in advance, set the venue in advance. And I’m making my point clear in front of everyone. I’m willing to fight any one of these guys, especially the champion Deontay Wilder, April 13 at Wembley. What more can I say?”
While Anthony Joshua is more than willing to meet Deontay Wilder in the ring this April, he’s not quite as keen on a fight with Tyson Fury.
“I’m not interested in Tyson Fury, he’s not the champion,” Joshua said, adding that Fury’s status as the lineal heavyweight champion doesn’t mean much to him. “That lineal status… when I was joining the heavyweight ranks nobody told me about lineal champions. I knew about WBC, IBO, IBF, WBA, and WBO, and I’ve got my hands on four of [those titles]. So I don’t know where this lineal [championship] just popped out of the woodwork from.
“But if I’ve got to get my hands on that too, and that’s a bout that the world is interested in, Fury can step in if he’s serious. That’s where I’m coming from. I want to fight the champions. I’m the one leading the pack. I’ve been doing that since I made my debut.”
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This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 12/13/2018.