After Ruiz fragilities, you can’t blame Joshua for wanting Fury over Wilder

Anthony Joshua vs Andy Ruiz Jr

📸 Mark Robinson

Anthony Joshua is content to take a backseat in the hope Tyson Fury defeats Deontay Wilder to take the only other title to elude him.

AJ, the four-belt champion, needs just the coveted green and gold WBC strap to complete his heavyweight collection.

But after losing to Andy Ruiz Jr. via knockout and looking vulnerable when hit almost every time in the rematch, Joshua is now eyeing Fury over the hard-hitting Wilder.

Joshua has even offered to help Fury prepare, that’s how badly the 30 year-old wants to keep away from Wilder’s 95% knockout ratio.

Wilder holds the record for the best stoppage percentage in the history of the top division, so no wonder Joshua is keen to put the brakes on a meeting.

Promoter Eddie Hearn has already assured fans Joshua firmly wants an undisputed battle, but the Matchroom boss at no point stipulated his star man would push for the American first.

In the immediate aftermath of Joshua’s redemption over Ruiz, Hearn said: “We’ve wanted the undisputed for years and years. We will do what Anthony wants to do and he’s always wanted to be undisputed.

“People listen to rubbish that he doesn’t want it and you know what, we won’t give them this. We aren’t even going to give them the airtime.

“He is the king. They wrote him off and said he all hype but look, he’s back. He is the king again. And he’s the one who continues to step up – Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder’s resume don’t even stack up.

“Anthony has been chasing them for years. Those fights will happen. Maybe they were right to walk away from those fights back then because the fight is worth much more now.

“AJ wants the legacy. He created that legacy tonight in Saudi Arabia. He sells out arenas around the world. He’s transforming boxing.

“These other guys can’t lace his boots! He is only 24 fights in and he is only going to get better.

“The world stopped to watch Anthony Joshua become the two-time world heavyweight champion,” he added.


UNDISPUTED

Therefore, Joshua will be cheering on Fury come fight night in Las Vegas on February 22nd. Should Fury prevail, he then has to repeat that feat in a third bout.

Both have agreed to a trilogy saga, meaning Joshua will have to keep his fingers crossed that Fury comes out on top – eventually.

Should Wilder knock Fury out, not once but twice, it will be interesting to see if Hearn and Joshua are still as keen to secure an undisputed battle.

Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News and an Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay