Unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua has no plans on having a prolonged slugfest with Deontay Wilder.
Wilder defends his WBC heavyweight title in a rematch against Tyson Fury on February 22. Although it is unlikely, especially as both fighters have a rematch clause, Joshua is hoping that the winner — ideally Wilder — faces him next in a much-awaited title unification bout.
As Wilder has shown in his bouts with Fury and rematch with Luis Ortiz, he can get outboxed for majority of the fight. However, it won’t matter if he is able to land that one devastating punch. That is why Joshua will look to end things early should he face the American:
“He wouldn’t be there to do that in the seventh round,” Joshua told Sky Sports of Wilder’s win over Ortiz. “I would go in to knock him out. It’s heavyweight against heavyweight, champion against champion.
“This is a serious fight, so I ain’t going to go in there to try and outbox him for 12 rounds, because of his punching power as well. I’ve got to go in there and take him out. Don’t let him get too comfortable in the ring with me.”
If Joshua is to land that knockout blow, he’ll have to avoid Wilder’s power. “The Bronze Bomber” is arguably the heaviest-hitter in the sport today. But “AJ” feels he can deal with taking Wilder’s power advantage away.
“Nah, not scary, but I know it’s there,” Joshua added of Wilder’s power. “There are certain punches. Some are like concussive, some are stinging and some are like punches where they knock you out with one punch and you’re out for the count.
“Wilder possesses that kind of power. It’s about eliminating that power and just studying how to deal with it really.”
Of course, all this talk is futile if the two parties don’t make the fight happen. After all, there have been failed negotiations for years. However, Joshua hinted that it’s Wilder who is holding up a potential title unification fight.
“We’ve done it, we’ve unified it, in the space of 20 odd fights,” he said. “He’s had 40 odd fights. How come he hasn’t managed to unify the division yet? If he’s looking for it, we’re the ones to do it with, and we’re not hard to find. We’ve got a great team behind us, so reach out.
“Even though there are two at the minute, I’ll let the people decide who they think is the real heavyweight champion right now. I always say, we’re in the same division, the same era, that fight has to happen. We just put on an amazing event. We’re going to do another amazing event god willing in the new year. He can come and be part of history. We’re trying to achieve big things in boxing and to add Wilder to my list would be an honour.”
Do you think Joshua could knock out Wilder early if they met?