Anthony Joshua: I’ll fight Deontay Wilder next year

Anthony Joshua: I’ll fight Deontay Wilder next year

The two best heavyweights in the world, unified titleholder Anthony Joshua and titlist Deontay Wilder, have their schedules in perfect alignment.

They will each defend their belts in mandatory fights on back-to-back weekends, both televised on Showtime, but with the ultimate goal being for them not to fight on consecutive weekends. It is for them to fight each other.

Joshua and Wilder, both big men with charisma and massive punching power, continue to talk about an eventual showdown. Their summit meeting appears inevitable. It is the biggest fight in the division — by far — and perhaps the biggest fight in boxing.

“I think he’s what the division needs and I think this is what Wilder needs, so we’ll give it to them,” Joshua said. “I say it’s definitely a potential for 2018. What else am I going to do in 2018?”

Said Wilder: “The ultimate goal is to get Joshua.”

Joshua targets wilder for 2018

Deontay Wilder [Image: AP]

But first they have business to attend to, and if they are successful in their upcoming fights, there will, of course, be the difficult matter of negotiations. Those talks will be a fight unto their own, almost as rough as what might go on between the ropes.

Wilder very much wants to unify titles and to face Joshua. He’s not convinced that Joshua feels the same way, however.

“Joshua says he needs more time; he ain’t ready. He wants to put himself in a better position. But you already fought a guy (Klitschko) that got way more experience than I,” Wilder said. “I don’t understand this sport when it comes to me. It feels like I’m better off not being in this sport than being in it. I don’t understand it. All this stuff has just been a buildup for me. But I can handle it well though. I can handle it so well and I can’t wait. All this needs to be released. Unfortunately for Bermane Stiverne, come Nov. 4th, it will be released.”

And then, Wilder hopes, the fight with Joshua will be on deck. With victories — and they are both huge favorites — they will be unencumbered by mandatory defenses. It’s certainly possible they could each have another fight first, but by the end of 2018, their fight should have marinated long enough.

“I just want to prove to the world that I am the best. That’s all I want to do,” Wilder said. “I don’t care about who’s the A side, who’s the B side, where the fight’s going to be. I don’t care about that stuff, just me in the ring.”

Joshua is unimpressed by Wilder’s list of opponents thus far but he knows their fight is the big one and what fans want to see. He said he is willing.

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