A fair amount of fans have put the onus on Anthony Joshua for his bout vs. Deontay Wilder not happening — even though he’s been able to make past unification bouts with former unified titleholder Wladimir Klitschko and former WBO champ Joseph Parker.
In theory, it should be just as easy to do with Wilder.
“Just that (sic) he wants more,” Joshua said at Tuesday’s DAZN launch event. “But you have to separate what your fantasy is and what your reality is. That’s what it is. He just wanted more. What’s that Oliver Twist story, ‘Can I have some more sir?’ Going to slap him back down and tell him know your place.”
Joshua, who faces Alexander Povetkin on Sept. 22 — exclusively on DAZN in the United States — has remained mostly quiet on the matter, while promoter Eddie Hearn has done the talking; until Tuesday.
“After the Takam fight, he called me out,” Joshua said. “I had spoken to him. He was at the Klitschko fight. Listen to the commentary (Wilder did commentary for Sky Sports), ‘This is amazing. We need to do this in America’. He really loved it. It’s like he didn’t want to fight me then. After he fought Bermane Stiverne, he said (sic) ‘Anthony, you’ve been ducking me.’ I was like, ‘Whoa, where did this come from?’
“I was like, ‘Call him on the phone and make this fight happen then’. So then I was negotiating. Then he’s taking long. So it was either him or Parker because I’m chasing belts. So I ended up fighting Parker because Wilder was just talking and nothing happened. Remember, I’ve been negotiating with Wilder since 2017. Talk is cheap.”
The biggest obstacle in Joshua vs. Wilder not happening is an agreement of how much money each fighter will make. Wilder’s been insistent on a 50-50 split while Hearn has said that is not in the cards.
“There’s enough in the pot for everyone to eat,” Joshua said. “I’m here to make the fight. I’ve done it with greater champions than him. I’ve done it with champions; (Charles) Martin, (Joseph) Parker, (Wladimir) Klitschko and with world title challengers Eric Molina, Carlos Takam, Povetkin. We’ve made fights with some of the best.
“He’ll get what he deserves, but he just needs to be realistic. But ultimately, the fans need to get what they deserve — and that’s a fight.”