Anthony Joshua Fires Back At Deontay Wilder After Latest Bizarre Outburst
Anthony Joshua has responded to Deontay Wilder's latest outburst, accusing the American of "dragging my name through the mud".
Wilder let slip in a Twitter rant directed at Tyson Fury that a fight with AJ was offered to him last year. "You know I was offered more money to fight Joshua than I was getting to fight you," complained Wilder. "Again being a man of my word, I fought you."
AJ seized on the comments as proof from Wilder's own mouth that a Joshua fight had been offered to the American, ending speculation that Joshua had in fact ducked 'The Bronze Bomber'.
"It makes the ultimate sense," said Joshua in an interview with Sky Sports. "It's hard because at the time when people are talking and you see lots of media stuff, you start to believe what that person is saying."
"When time goes by, naturally the truth will always reveal itself. I get a lot of stick but I take it with a pinch of salt.
"He admitted it. We made him a lucrative offer but he wanted to face Fury.
"So be it. If that's what he wanted to do, fine. But he dragged my name through the mud."
The words "ultimate sense" are not often applied to Wilder's words, but they clearly apply here. Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn was quick to jump on the comments, saying: "I thought AJ ducked you?" on Twitter.
It also makes sense that an offer was made, as why would Joshua and Hearn sit back and allow AJ's main heavyweight rivals engage in two money-spinning, profile-boosting fights without trying to steal one of them as an opponent?
As Wilder had the alphabet world-title belt Joshua craved until February of this year, it makes sense he was given the option to fight the British heavyweight at some point early in 2019.
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Wilder's goal in his video and twitter thread was to goad Fury into a third fight. "It is time for you to be a man and honor your agreement," his announcement began. But one of the main takeaways seem to be boxing fans picking up on the fact he turned down a Joshua fight.
As Joshua said to Sky Sports: "While Wilder was trying to make me look like a bad person, that I didn't want to enhance the sport, or fight certain fighters, I just had to roll with the punches.
"He has come out and said it himself. We offered him a really good deal but he wanted to fight Fury. People can take it how they want, and see what the truth is now."
Joshua is due to fight Kubrat Pulev on 12 December, while Fury is rumoured to be fighting a week earlier on 5 December but an opponent is still to be confirmed. The hope of every boxing fan is that, providing both win, this will set up a Fury vs Joshua fight for 2021.
Wilder, meanwhile, now has some people concerned for his mental wellbeing. His list of reasons as to why he lost to Fury - from his ring-walk costume being too heavy, to suspicions about Fury's gloves, to his latest one about his water being spiked - are troubling.
The increasingly outlandish excuses could just be a way to promote the third fight with Fury he desperately wants. Or they could be a sign that Wilder is genuinely struggling mentally since his brutal, seven-round battering in February.
Whatever the case, in trying to set up a third fight with Fury, the 35-year-old has accidentally told boxing fans that a lucrative offer to fight Anthony Joshua was definitely made to him at some point last year.
All imagery: PA Images
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