April 1, 2018 / 2:02 AM / 6 months ago

Joshua wants Wilder to fight him in Britain for undisputed title

LONDON (Reuters) - Anthony Joshua, ever more the golden boy of British boxing, says he has no interest in trying to conquer America after adding a fourth world heavyweight championship belt to his collection on Saturday.

Boxing - Anthony Joshua vs Joseph Parker - World Heavyweight Title Unification Fight - Principality Stadium, Cardiff, Britain - March 31, 2018 Anthony Joshua celebrates after winning the fight Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Couldridge

Instead, he wants America — in the shape of WBC champion Deontay Wilder — to come and fight him in his own backyard for the undisputed crown.

The WBC title is the only one remaining on Joshua’s radar after he took the WBO championship from New Zealand’s previously unbeaten Joseph Parker with a unanimous points decision at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium.

Joshua, who already had the WBA, IBF and IBO titles, told the 78,000-strong crowd to expect more such big nights in future.

Boxing - Anthony Joshua vs Joseph Parker - World Heavyweight Title Unification Fight - Principality Stadium, Cardiff, Britain - March 31, 2018 Anthony Joshua celebrates with the belts and promoter Eddie Hearn after winning the fight Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Couldridge

“All these years, the UK fighters had to go to America and everyone had to spend a heap of money to go to Vegas,” he said from the ring.

“We can do it in London, around Wembley, or Cardiff. It’s local. We’re staying right here.

“Wilder - Let’s go baby, let’s go.”

Joshua won his first three belts by stopping Ukrainian Wladimir Klitschko at London’s Wembley Stadium in April last year, with 90,000 fans celebrating one of the great nights for British boxing.

He has now twice defended titles in Cardiff before similarly huge crowds.

Slideshow (3 Images)

Asked what he would have to do to beat Wilder, Joshua replied: “Get him in the ring and I’ll knock him spark out.”

The Briton’s promoter Eddie Hearn questioned whether Wilder was up to the challenge, however.

“Deontay Wilder was supposed to be here tonight, but he pulled out,” he told Sky Sports television. “Deontay Wilder’s people don’t contact us, they don’t want to know. He talks the talk, he can’t walk the walk.”

“We’ll do it anywhere,” he added. “Have you seen where he boxes? He boxes in some great venues with no one there. Look at what we’re doing over here. Look at what Anthony Joshua’s doing.

“Deontay Wilder will be watching right now. And this is called a show, this is called a crowd. He will not beat AJ and these people.”

Wilder, unbeaten in 40 fights, begged to differ and put out a video on social media after the fight suggesting he wanted to make it happen.

“Of course I want Joshua to fight, he knows it no matter what they say and no matter what his promoter says ... I want the fight, let’s make the fight happen, stop making these excuses,” he said.

Editing by Peter Rutherford

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