Anthony Joshua wants to fight both Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder, but he admits that one seems more realistic.
The Olympic Gold Medalist turned two-time world champion is readying a comeback on the heavyweight scene with a fight against Jermaine Franklin following two losses to Oleksandr Usyk.
Whilst not looking past Franklin, Joshua has his heart set on some big nights under the lights against the division’s very top contenders, and that includes Fury and Wilder.
Negotiations have been attempted with both men in the past, failing to bear fruit and only serving to frustrate fans. Speaking to Dan Rafael on Big Fight Weekend, Joshua said that fighting his American rival was ‘more realistic’ now.
“It seems like Deontay Wilder’s more realistic, because I just think that the stuff that goes on with Fury is a bit crazy, man.
I’ve been in this situation for a long time – even with them two I’ve been in this same situation – but I just feel like Deontay’s coming to a stage in his career where he’s realistic.”
“It’s not like ‘I just want this fight’, I think he needs it. So that’s more realistic if I’m honest with you, especially with the place that we’re both at in our careers.”
That place is as former champions. ‘AJ’ held three of the four major heavyweight titles since a decision victory over Joesph Parker in 2018 – with a stumble in form of Andy Ruiz Jr – right up until his losses to Oleksandr Usyk in 2021 and 2022.
Wilder was the WBC Champion from 2015 until 2022, when Fury served him a first career loss to take it.
The two men tried and failed to make an undisputed fight within that timeframe, but the intrigue as to the matchmaking remains even if the belts don’t.
Eddie Hearn, Joshua’s promoter, confirmed that there’s now an open line of communication between himself and Wilder’s manager, Shelly Finkel, and it’s something they look to explore later in the year should his man beat Franklin.
Hearn is also keen on the Fury fight, though, and with his undisputed chance against Usyk fallen through, the promoter intends to make a serious play for the domestic dust-up.
Fans will remember well how that turned out last time, though – those failed negotiations from late 2022 likely being the reason behind Joshua’s sentiments.