Anthony Joshua aired his views on winning the world heavyweight title so early as he blasted a collapse fight with rival Deontay Wilder.
The former two-time top division ruler is rebuilding for the second time after losing his belts with a whimper to Oleksandr Usyk.
Making changes to his team, the Briton promoted Angel Fernandez to head trainer.
A rematch with Usyk contractually to happen soon. However, the war in Ukraine has ended those hopes for a spring or summer return.
Joshua is now looking at alternatives for warm-up, of which Deontay Wilder is one.
“Winning the heavyweight championships in my 16th fight was a gift and a curse! It stopped my progression as an active fighter!”
“I wanted to be a slicker boxer,” Joshua said.
“Boxing 101 – hit and don’t get hit. I was told if I love fighting and want to go on for years, try not to get hit a lot.
“A loss or a beaten shouldn’t make you scared of boxing. It made me work on my weakness. Hard to explain but make of it what you can.”
On Wilder, Joshua recalls events of the summer of 2018 somewhat differently to WBN, who were involved every step of the way with Shelly Finkel.
“Need I say more! Let’s put this “AJ ducked” saga to rest,” Joshua wrote on social media.
“I respect Wilder. He’s a good fighter. He just wasn’t ready to fight me! If you don’t believe me. See below,” he added, pointing to Wilder’s admission he took less money.
Seeing evidence and holding first-hand knowledge of the discussions, Wilder getting lowballed by Joshua and Eddie Hearn and then accepting lesser money to fight Tyson Fury when AJ walked away to a WBA mandatory with Alexander Povetkin seems to be misconstrued.
Joshua pointed to a tweet by Wilder that correctly stated he took a lower payday to fight Fury. But this only happened after the WBA ordered Joshua vs. Povetkin due to delays in the Wilder contract.
DEONTAY WILDER ACCEPTED
Wilder accepted terms on June 11th, even though they were far lower than expected. Joshua sent contracts unsigned by himself. But Wilder still asked for three days before wanting clarification over two points.
Finkel told WBN that Hearn and Joshua didn’t address those two points by Friday. Hearn and Joshua then pulled out to fight Povetkin using the WBA order that literally meant nothing.
That happened even though Joshua could have asked for and would have gotten a WBA exemption to face Wilder. The truth is, the Briton never did. He was happy to fight Povetkin back then.
Therefore, Joshua vs. Povetkin became the focus, and Wilder accepted lesser money to fight Fury as he needed a top name for his Showtime Pay Per View.
End of story.
The views expressed in this article are opinions of Phil Jay.
Phil has over ten years of boxing news experience. Founding editor of World Boxing News since 2010. WBN has over one billion views on all platforms.
Attending over 200 events and scoring over 400 fights, Phil has overseen WBN to a quarter of a million followers on social media.
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