Anthony Joshua tells Deontay Wilder to put up or shut up

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Anthony Joshua (left) and Eddie Hearn

London, November 9: Anthony Joshua has told heavyweight rival Deontay Wilder that he will not negotiate in public as his promoter Eddie Hearn confirmed talks over a much-anticipated fight will take place this week.

WBA and IBF champion Joshua has been on a collision course with WBC title-holder Wilder throughout their respective rises to the top of the division.

American Wilder called out Joshua following his first-round destruction of a hapless Bermane Stiverne on Saturday (November 4), but the powerhouse Briton believes his rival has not shown a serious interest in fighting him.

"We had a meeting and I said 'are there any offers that have come your way?' because Wilder seems to say that I am ducking him and that he is really interested in fighting me," he said to iFL TV.

"There's not been any offers to say 'we've got this venue free on this day, we've this broadcaster and that broadcaster interested in taking the fight and these are the terms and conditions of the fight' - I haven't had anything.

"So, it seems to me there's interest but it's not a serious interest.

"So, what we've decided to do is, Eddie is going to America for the Danny Jacobs fight, and he's contacting the champions that are interested in fighting.

"I'll have to put my foot forward and start making the offers and try to secure a fight with the likes of Deontay Wilder or Joseph Parker."

Hearn is planning to get the wheels in motion for a fight with Wilder, but added that a bout with WBO champion Joseph Parker remains a possibility with the New Zealander's representatives claiming earlier on Wednesday (November 8) that dialogue has begun.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Hearn said: "I'm sitting down with Shelly Finkel and Al Haymon later this week to have our first conversations regarding Joshua versus Wilder.

"Like all these big fights it's never easy but hopefully we can find somewhere between reality and fantasy that suits all.

"I had a good meeting with AJ - it's his goal to try and become undisputed heavyweight champion of the world by the close of 2018 so, at present, to do that we must go through Parker and Wilder."

Source: OPTA

Story first published: Wednesday, November 8, 2017, 21:00 [IST]
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