In the second part of an extensive and exclusive interview with World Boxing News, WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder aired his thoughts on the Anthony Joshua fallout.
Wilder, 33, has been forced to come to terms with the fact the pair will never meet in an undefeated and undisputed battle after Joshua was humbled by Andy Ruiz Jr. last month.
Conspiracy theories have reigned since Joshua surrendered his four world titles to Mexico’s first world champion at 200 pounds plus.
‘The Bronze Bomber’ believes the pressure weighing down on Joshua’s shoulders ultimately proved too much.
“It’s like I tweeted before, they kept Joshua away from me because of that fact. They knew that the result that was going to happen. But probably a little earlier than that (if we fought), Wilder exclusively told World Boxing News. “We all knew this would happen, but that’s boxing.
“AJ had a lot of pressure on him coming to America for one, and then he was worrying about me and what I did in my performance (against Dominic Breazeale, a first round KO).
“All that stuff weighs in on you. He was panicking in the dressing room and I understand all that stuff, it’ll get you.
“Certain things, you want to perform and do great. Nobody never wants to lose. We want to do great, but when we got so much on you and so much pressure, talking about the sparring guys dropping him in sparring and stuff, it’s a lot.
“When your time comes I understand he just froze at the moment of time. But we’ll see whether he can redeem himself in the second fight.”
Talking further about the pre-fight build-up having an effect, Wilder pointed out he’d previously predicted Joshua would struggle.
“I wasn’t shocked at all (by the Ruiz result). Me and Shelly (Finkel) was talking about it and I asked him how did he feel about it? He said he’d give the fight six rounds going Joshua’s way and I told him I had a different opinion. I said it was going all 12 rounds, but don’t be surprised if Joshua loses either and he was saying really?
“He was kinda shocked and I was like, really? He said, well I don’t know too much about Ruiz to give a proper assessment and that’s why he went with that.
“With certain training and fights and stuff like that, I could tell he got some skills, he could fight. I knew he was a skilful guy and he was brave and had that Mexican pride. When you have that, you have a tough fight, it’ll take a lot from him.
“Joshua prideful and he’s going to go in with pride. But with guys like that you really just got to go and knock him out. When AJ went in there and did what he did, I wasn’t shocked at all.”
On talk of Joshua retiring if Ruiz repeats the devastation in a few months time, Wilder concluded: “It’s never over for him. People always think when you lose it’s over but that’s never the case.
“A lot of people haven’t learned from all these years, they haven’t learned because that’s how you become a two-time, three-time, four-time world champion,” he said.
READ PART ONE HERE
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