Anthony Joshua sends message to Tyson Fury over Deontay Wilder step-aside offer
Anthony Joshua is confident that Deontay Wilder will not accept a step-aside offer to avoid Tyson Fury.
The Bronze Bomber has activated his rematch clause to set up a third fight with Fury and present a chance to win back the WBC heavyweight title he lost in February.
But it has been proposed that both Wilder and Kubrat Pulev, who was due to fight Joshua on June 20 before it was postponed, accept step-side offers in order to pave the way for Joshua to face Fury in a unification bout.
But Joshua is adamant that Wilder will not accept any such proposal.
Asked if he feels the prospect of Wilder accepting a step-aside offer is realistic, Joshua told SI Boxing with Chris Mannix: ‘No because I think the championship means a lot to these boys, I respect that. As much as I would like them to I just highly doubt it.
‘I wouldn’t do it. Unfortunately it won’t happen.
‘But if a miracle did come across and they both decided to I don’t need no warm-ups, I’m ready.’
Joshua also spoke in depth about the game plan he would use if he ever faced Wilder in the ring.
‘I could say a lot of things but I’m only going to speak facts on this situation,’ said Joshua.
‘Wilder’s had I think 10 title defences with that WBC belt, so I look across those 10 title defences he’s had. He’s fought [Artur] Szpilka, [Johann] Duhaupas , [Dominic] Breazeale, Ortiz twice, Fury twice and Chris Arreola.
‘Within those 10 I look at it and said, ‘okay, cool’. You have Tyson Fury twice and Ortiz twice, they are the top-tier fighters in his defences and all of those four challenges that he’s had with top-tier fighters he’s struggled with.
‘So I thought of course Fury’s going to come back. He came back off a long lay-off and I thought he would come back again and get it right.
‘I know what it means to come so close and have it stripped away, so I just thought Tyson Fury would do exactly what he would do.
‘Tactically wise, I could break that down but in terms of how he went about it I believe when Deontay Wilder gets a top-tier level it’s going to be difficult for him to stay there due to the fact he had [for] so long [been] bubbling around mediocre fights.
‘With Deontay Wilder he’s a long range fighter, he normally puts people on the back foot and really leverages off that right hand, comes flying in.
‘What Tyson Fury seems to have done is sat on his back foot and edged forward ever so slightly to put Deontay Wilder on his back foot where I think Deontay Wilder struggled on his back foot to a certain degree, which we’ve seen across different fights.
‘I think Tyson Fury analysed the previous fights, realised that if you take away his half-decent jab and his good right hand, he [Fury] was slipping the right hand so it was shooting over. He had more of a chance in beating Deontay Wilder. His tactics were spot on.
‘Not only did he have the tactics, to carry them out is another thing and he managed to do it. After all the hard work it paid off.
‘We have two current heavyweight champions in Great Britain right now. Wilder, it would be good if he stepped aside. Pulev, it would be good if he stepped aside, and we got this fight on [with Fury] because it’s one that the world is screaming for.
‘It’s easy for me to be like, ‘yeah I’d have fought him exactly like Tyson Fury’! But I’m going to be real, of course, that’s the way to take it.
‘When you look in a warrior’s toolbag, and I look in Deontay Wilder’s toolbag of weapons, he has the right hand, so I say, ‘how do we take that away from him?’. It’s hard for a fighter to throw a powerful right hand moving backwards, so we need to put him on his back foot and be dominant in that sense.
‘How do we take away the right hand when he’s on his front foot? I need you to practice slipping it and making it shoot over your head, defending it with the lead hand. These are tactics I would have done and once I take that main weapon away there won’t be a problem.
‘I’ve never really seen him hurt anyone with an uppercut, I’ve never really seen him hurt anyone with a right hand to the body, with a left hook.
‘So when I look in his arsenal bag I think that’s the way, pressure and take away his right hand, then you’re 75 per cent on the way to victory.’
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