Anthony Joshua believes he’s worked out the reasons behind Deontay Wilder choosing to fight Tyson Fury in 2018.
Despite having his chance to earn $50m to face Wilder in the United States on Showtime Pay-Per-View, Joshua and his team selected a mandatory defense on home soil against the aging Alexander Povetkin, leaving Wilder in no man’s land with a big date to fill.
This led to Wilder turning his attention to Fury and Joshua says the American is using the former champion’s attempts to return from a long layoff to boost his clout in future negotiations for their own super-fight.
In regards to Fury, Joshua thinks the 30 year-old is only attempting to secure a big payday and is on a hiding to nothing in facing Wilder this year.
Joshua is confident an encounter will eventually happen with Wilder, although has a rematch clash with UK compatriot Dillian Whyte already in the pipeline for April at Wembley Stadium.
Breaking his silence on Wilder v Fury to Sky News, Joshua said: “We have to fight, there are no two ways about it. Remember we’ve been negotiating since I fought (Carlos) Takam last year.
“I’ve been trying to get a fight with Wilder, it’s been ongoing for a long time. It feels very difficult.
“That is why I know the strategy is for him to fight Fury after a three-year lay-off. He’s got a good chance of beating him. It will boost his profile so when he comes back to the negotiating table he will have a better leg to stand on.
“Tyson Fury’s strategy is to put some money in the bank after a three-year lay-off. He’ll continue talking rubbish as he does. In the long run, thunder strikes and it continues to strike.
“It’s not like they’ve stolen the limelight. There’s enough on the table for everyone to eat, in my opinion,” he added.
Joshua v Wilder seems to be off the table until at least the back end of 2019, with the heavyweight king likely to seek home advantage for the initial meeting.
As WBN has been informed on numerous occasions by Wilder’s co-manager Shelly Finkel, talks will not re-open with Joshua until after the Fury fight and won’t be agreed until a solid rematch clause is in place.
Terms were accepted by Wilder previously, with the only sticking point to signing being the lack of a rematch for the ‘Bronze Bomber’ if he lost on British soil.
Should Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn put a second battle (potentially in the USA) in the paperwork and send to Wilder should he beat Fury, the big punching WBC title holder is guaranteed to sign on the dotted line for 2019.