Anthony Joshua, who will face Andy Ruiz Jr this weekend

'Probably busy, he's just had his fight' - Joshua understands Wilder's MSG ringside snub

Deontay Wilder was invited to get a glimpse of a fellow champion up close, but will not attend this weekend.

ANTHONY JOSHUA HAS no qualms with Deontay Wilder rejecting the chance to watch his American debut against Andy Ruiz Jr. this weekend.

The Briton will defend his IBF, WBA Super and WBO world heavyweight titles at Madison Square Garden in New York on Saturday.

Joshua wanted Wilder, the WBC champion, to be at ringside but the ‘Bronze Bomber’ – who scored a first-round knockout over Dominic Breazeale this month – will not be in attendance.

“[He's] probably busy, he’s just had his fight. Just been in his training camp, had his fight, [there's] a lot of pressure on that,” he told IFL TV.

He probably doesn’t want to see a boxing ring for a little while. So, I don’t blame the guy. He’s got his family hasn’t he, he’s got other stuff to do.”

Joshua has thus far been unsuccessful in his desire for a unification bout with Wilder, despite both camps having been involved in protracted negotiations. 

The unbeaten Joshua said he was impressed by Wilder’s knockout of Breazeale, a man he took seven rounds to stop three years ago.

Breazeale Wilder Boxing Deontay Wilder brutally knocked out Dominic Breazeale earlier this month. Frank Franklin II Frank Franklin II

“He’s done a better job, he knocked him out earlier than me,” he added. “He’s a good fighter and that’s why I want to compete with him.”

He jokingly added: “It’s stupid of me, I should’ve taken Breazeale out earlier. I won’t be making that mistake again!

“I could’ve taken him out in the second round, it wasn’t easy, I had him hurt in the second.

Yeah, comparing it, he did a better job, he knocked him out earlier than me so he’s a good fighter, that’s why I want to fight with him.” 

A fight has also failed to materialise between Joshua and domestic rival Tyson Fury, who now looks certain to face Dillian Whyte – himself interested in a rematch with ‘AJ’ – provided they come through respective bouts with Tom Schwarz and Oscar Rivas.

“I think it’s just a bit unnecessary, Fury wants to be a champion, he wants to add that lineal status so he could have fought me,” Joshua said. 

“Dillian could fight me for all the belts but he wants to go a different route so good luck to them. I’ll watch but they haven’t got to go round that route, they can come directly.”

Subscribe to our new podcast, The42 Rugby Weekly, here:

Your Voice
Readers Comments
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.

    Leave a commentcancel