Deontay Wilder believes Anthony Joshua does not want to face him in the richest heavyweight fight of all time and claimed promoter Eddie Hearn has manipulated British boxing fans into thinking that he does.
Wilder produced the finest win of his career on Saturday night when he dispatched the previously undefeated Cuban Luis Ortiz in the 10th round of their instant classic at the Barclays Center here in Brooklyn.
It was the seventh successful defence of his WBC heavyweight crown and moves him onto 40-0 with all but one of those victories ending inside the distance. It is a ledger, Wilder says, that proves he is the No 1 heavyweight in the world, despite Joshua, the WBA and IBF champion, emerging as arguably the biggest star of the sport over the past 18 months.
Joshua has the chance to add Joseph Parker’s WBO title to his collection in Cardiff on 31 March leaving him just one victory away from becoming the first man in history to hold all four major heavyweight belts (WBO, WBA, IBF, WBC) at once. But Wilder genuinely believes Joshua, 20-0 with 20 knockouts, does not want anything to do with him and that his promoter Hearn is simply spinning a lie to the paying public.
“How many times do I have to call him out?” Wilder said. “How many times? They are hiding. His promoter does not want that fight and after seeing what I did to Ortiz they are definitely not going to want it. But it will now be up to the media and the fans to make sure it happens. I have spoken enough. I really don’t want to talk about it anymore because I’ve said all I have to say.
“After tonight I don’t need to say any more. All I want to do is prove to the world that I am the best, that I am the baddest man on the planet. Whenever they are ready, we are ready. How many times do we have to call? All they have to do is pick up the phone but they don’t want the fight man.
“They are trying to manipulate the British fans and they’ve done a great job. Some of them believe every single that Eddie says, every single word, but to me it’s easy to see that they don’t want this fight.”
Wilder will fly to Cardiff in order to sit ringside at the Principality Stadium for the unification clash on Easter Saturday. He hopes his presence will help to force the issue and secure a shot at the winner.
Wilder’s promoter Lou DiBella, meanwhile, has suggested that Las Vegas is currently the frontrunner to host the potential superfight between Joshua and Wilder despite the absence of a major venue that seats more than around 20,000.
Staging the fight at Wembley Stadium would enable nearly 100,000 fans to watch the clash which would in turn increase the gate receipt revenue. But the input from Las Vegas’ major casinos, plus the ability to charge far more per ticket, means that the 20,000-seater T-Mobile Arena on the Sin City strip seems the most likely host, according to DiBella.
“It could happen here in New York, there is no question it would sell out here and that we’d set a record gate for the Barclays with that fight,” he said in the early hours of Sunday morning. “With that being said, it could also go to a soccer stadium in Great Britain but they can’t charge that much per ticket over there.
“So the likelihood would be probably, from an economic standpoint, because there are no expenses, because of the gambling, high-rollers and the whole bit, that Vegas would be most likely. Also Brits love to come to Vegas for a huge fight and make a holiday of it. I think economically, the most likely venue would still be Las Vegas.
“Wilder was willing to go to Russia to fight Alexander Povetkin so if the money was crazy enough he’d go to Great Britain but I believe the money will be best in Las Vegas.”
Source: Independent UK