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Anthony Joshua: 'If I don't get Wilder, what am I doing it for?'

The British heavyweight also wants to face former undisputed cruiserweight champion OIeksandr Usyk in the near future.

'AJ' must first see off 'Big Baby' Miller at MSG on 1 June.
'AJ' must first see off 'Big Baby' Miller at MSG on 1 June.
Image: Steven Paston

ANTHONY JOSHUA HOPES to face Deontay Wilder in a clash for the undisputed heavyweight championship of the world, as well as former undisputed cruiserweight champion and Matchroom stablemate Oleksandr Usyk, provided he can first see off Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller at Madison Square Garden on 1 June.

Joshua’s US debut sees him defend his three world titles against the unbeaten American, also a Matchroom stablemate, with whom he has exchanged harsh words in a build-up which has been uncharacteristically spicy — at least for ‘AJ’.

The Watford man is expected to see off Miller’s challenge in the latter’s home city of New York, and Joshua has his eyes set on a long-awaited clash with another American rival as well as a fellow 2012 Olympic champion from Ukraine as long as he’s successful in six weeks’ time.

“I think it will be class if I can fight Wilder for the undisputed title and then I could fight Usyk because then that would be the undisputed heavyweight champion versus the undisputed cruiserweight champion at heavyweight,” the 29-year-old told Sky Sports. “That would be unbelievable.

“I’ve done the [Joseph] Parker fight, I fought for that [WBO] title,” Joshua said. “I’ve fought [Alexander] Povetkin. Now, I’ve got to do Miller and I just need to get past this one.

If I don’t get Wilder, what am I doing it for? If I don’t get my hands on the WBC belt, what am I doing it for? I really want that chance and that opportunity.

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Wilder was denied an immediate rematch with former World heavyweight champion Tyson Fury when Fury inked a deal with Top Rank and ESPN, both of whom have plotted a different route for Fury — who instead faces the little-known Tom Schwartz in his own US debut on 15 June — in an attempt to raise his profile Stateside and make a Wilder sequel even bigger down the line.

On 18 May, ‘The Bronze Bomber’ defends his WBC title against compatriot Dominic Breazeale, upon whom Joshua inflicted a sole career defeat in 2016.

“I think Breazeale could cause Wilder some problems,” said Joshua. “It will be interesting to see him if Wilder can match him in boxing skill,” Joshua said.

“They’re both decent boxers. Breazeale is an Olympian but Wilder is just very quick, so if he catches Breazeale early it might be lights out as we have seen his last 40-odd fights.”

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