Anthony Joshua has called for Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder to fight better opponents, and claimed: “It shouldn’t be about anything else apart from the best fighting the best.” Joshua has previously explained how focusing on becoming undisputed heavyweight champion contributed to his shock defeat to Andy Ruiz Jr – a result he plans to avenge on December 7.
“Tyson Fury is fighting Otto Wallin but nobody talks about that. I fought Wallin as an amateur. Wilder and Fury are the cream of the crop and shouldn’t be fighting those type of people.
“Look at the time frame of when I turned professional to when others did. And they don’t want to fight me. It shouldn’t be about anything else apart from the best fighting the best.”
Joshua became world champion in his 16th fight after three years as a professional. Fury accomplished it in his 25th fight after seven years, whereas it took Wilder 33 fights and seven years.
He continued: “The guys who I’m supposed to fight are turning down the most lucrative offers in boxing.
“Promoter Eddie Hearn told me that when I win the belts: ‘you will be in a position of power, nobody will dictate to you’. “I give people the opportunity to fight in front of the biggest crowd, the biggest global audience, get the most publicity, earn the highest purse, and to become champion. They turn it down. Credit to Ruiz Jr.”
Fury and Wilder drew a match-up last December with the WBC title at stake, and plan a rematch in February 2020 if they each win a fight in the meantime. Fury faces Wallin on September 14 and Wilder is expected to meet Luis Ortiz, who he has already beaten.
“I’ve got something to fight for now,” Joshua said. “The guys I wanted to fight are tying themselves up for a year-and-a-half.
“They froze me out. Wilder has agreed his next fight with Ortiz, his next fight with Fury. “We take on the best competitors in the division every time. We take challenges, and Ruiz Jr was the best of the crop that was available to me.
“Manuel Charr, Michael Hunter? How can I fight someone like Charr? I wanted the best, and Ruiz Jr was the best. If you want to win every fight, don’t step into battle.”
Joshua reiterated that his focus has renewed on regaining the IBF, WBA and WBO titles from Ruiz Jr.
“All eyes on Ruiz Jr. Nobody can talk to me about Wilder or Fury – that is irrelevant,” he said.