Anthony Joshua has told heavyweight rival Deontay Wilder that he will not negotiate in public as his promoter Eddie Hearn confirmed talks over a much-anticipated fight will take place this week.
WBA and IBF champion Joshua has been on a collision course with WBC title-holder Wilder throughout their respective rises to the top of the division.
American Wilder called out Joshua following his first-round destruction of a hapless Bermane Stiverne on Saturday, but the powerhouse Briton believes his rival has not shown a serious interest in fighting him.
â€œWe [Joshua and Hearn] had a meeting and I said â€˜are there any offers that have come your way?â€™ because Wilder seems to say that I am ducking him and that he is really interested in fighting me,â€ he said to iFL TV.
â€œThereâ€™s not been any offers to say â€˜weâ€™ve got this venue free on this day, weâ€™ve this broadcaster and that broadcaster interested in taking the fight and these are the terms and conditions of the fightâ€™ â€“ I havenâ€™t had anything.
â€œSo, it seems to me thereâ€™s interest but itâ€™s not a serious interest.
â€œSo, what weâ€™ve decided to do is, Eddie (Hearn) is going to America for the Danny Jacobs fight, and heâ€™s contacting the champions that are interested in fighting.
â€œIâ€™ll have to put my foot forward and start making the offers and try to secure a fight with the likes of Deontay Wilder or Joseph Parker.â€
Hearn is planning to get the wheels in motion for a fight with Wilder, but added that a bout with WBO champion Joseph Parker remains a possibility with the New Zealanderâ€™s representatives claiming earlier on Wednesday that dialogue has begun.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Hearn said: â€œIâ€™m sitting down with [Wilderâ€™s representatives] Shelly Finkel and Al Haymon later this week to have our first conversations regarding Joshua versus Wilder.
â€œLike all these big fights itâ€™s never easy but hopefully we can find somewhere between reality and fantasy that suits all.
â€œI had a good meeting with AJ (on Tuesday) â€“ itâ€™s his goal to try and become undisputed heavyweight champion of the world by the close of 2018 so, at present, to do that we must go through Parker and Wilder.â€