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Anthony Joshua fires back at Deontay Wilder by insisting rival is ‘NOT an elite level fighter

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Anthony Joshua produced a withering assessment of rival Deontay Wilder by claiming the ‘Bronze Bomber’ is ‘not an elite level fighter’.

Wilder is busy preparing to face Tyson Fury in a trilogy fight after a judged ruled on the legitimacy at his right to a rematch following his brutal defeat.

The American is full of confidence in winning back his WBC heavyweight belt and has talked up his next move, chief among them being to fight Joshua for the undisputed title.

Deontay Wilder has been dismissed as not an 'elite level fighter' by Anthony Joshua
Deontay Wilder has been dismissed as not an ‘elite level fighter’ by Anthony Joshua
Joshua was called out for 'excuses' by Wilder but the Brit played down any threat by the American
Joshua was called out for ‘excuses’ by Wilder but the Brit played down any threat by the American

 

Joshua continued his takedown of the Alabama fighter by going on to add that Wilder’s explosive right hand is his only ‘weapon’ and no heavyweight champion can ‘go to war’ with just one in his armoury.

Joshua is just the WBC title - currently owned by Tyson Fury - away from being undisputed
Joshua is just the WBC title – currently owned by Tyson Fury – away from being undisputed
Fury (right) and Wilder (left) will fight in a trilogy bout in Las Vegas on July 24 for the WBC belt
Fury (right) and Wilder (left) will fight in a trilogy bout in Las Vegas on July 24 for the WBC belt

Much will hinge on the outcome of the Wilder-Fury trilogy bout in Las Vegas on July 24, as well as the outcome of Joshua-Usyk, with a date for that match-up still to be officially announced.

Wilder had previously suggested that ‘excuses’ are already being made for Joshua to avoid fighting him should he defeat Fury and reclaim his title.

‘Most definitely, hands down [I want the Joshua fight], Wilder told Sky Sports.

‘Without no excuses, no mandatories, nothing in the way. As I see, they already making up excuses. They already got a mandatory planned ahead.

‘No one really wants to fight someone like me, and I don’t blame them.’

Joshua rubbished suggestions of ‘excuses’ and said he will ‘fight them all’ in pursuit of being the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world.

Joshua was hoping to fight Fury before an arbitration forced his British rival to face Wilder
Joshua was hoping to fight Fury before an arbitration forced his British rival to face Wilder

Wilder (right) is confident he will take back his title and then turn attentions toward Joshua
Wilder (right) is confident he will take back his title and then turn attentions toward Joshua

Looking ahead to a September fight with Usyk, mooted for the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn has already revealed the fight contract will include a rematch clause.

Hearn played down the significance of having a rematch clause, saying it would benefit Usyk hugely should he win the first fight because he would then be paid a lucrative pay packet for the second fight.

When asked by BetFred if there would be a rematch clause in place, Hearn replied: ‘There will be,’ insisting the term was not holding up negotiations.

‘All the terms are agreed and that was a prior term. When you talk about a rematch clause, it’s also the biggest fight that fighter could have.

‘Sometimes people think, “that’s a bad thing”. It’s actually sometimes a good thing. Andy Ruiz ended up getting quite a lot of money for his rematch, but it’s a massive opportunity. If Oleksandr Usyk wins, he then makes an absolute fortune to fight AJ again.’

Hearn is lining up two dates for the fight – September 18 or September 25, with Wembley Stadium also a possible contender to host the bout.

Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn has confirmed Oleksandr Usyk, the WBO mandatory challenger to face Joshua next, will have a rematch clause in their deal to fight in September
Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn has confirmed Oleksandr Usyk, the WBO mandatory challenger to face Joshua next, will have a rematch clause in their deal to fight in September

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