News ID: 231765
Published: 0835 GMT September 24, 2018

AJ ready for Wilder after Povetkin TKO

AJ ready for Wilder after Povetkin TKO
Britain's Anthony Joshua (L) celebrates his knockout victory over Russian Alexander Povetkin at the Wembley Stadium in London, Britain, on September 22, 2018.

Britain's Anthony Joshua believes his long-awaited clash with fellow world heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder will take place as it would be "silly not to".

But promoter Eddie Hearn warned a deal must be agreed quickly if the American is to be Joshua's next opponent, AFP reported.

Joshua successfully defended his WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO world heavyweight championship belts with a brutal seventh-round stoppage of Alexander Povetkin at London's Wembley Stadium on Saturday.

He is already booked in to box again at Wembley on April 13, but the question of an opponent has still to be resolved.

Joshua has repeatedly stressed he wants to fight fellow undefeated champion Wilder, who holds the World Boxing Council version of the heavyweight title, next.

"We have to fight, it would be silly not to" Joshua told reporters after inflicting the first stoppage-loss of Povetkin's professional career.

Wilder, however, is next due to face Britain's former world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury on December 1.

Talks between the Joshua and Wilder camps have stalled and Hearn is worried a fight that will be worth far more than the "peanuts" of an initially offered $50 million could be derailed.

If Fury beats Wilder, the American's rematch clause would likely be activated, delaying both boxers from facing Joshua, the London 2012 Olympic champion who now has a professional record of 22 wins from 22 fights, with 21 knockouts.


'Time wasters'


"Being British, we'd like Fury to win, but for April, Wilder must win if that's going to happen," said Hearn.

"We're not willing to wait until December to see. A deal must be done in advance of that, subject to him winning.

"But now, after 80,000 (the estimated crowd at Wembley) and the worldwide exposure and after the finish (against Povetkin) that offer (made previously, by the Wilder camp) will look like absolute peanuts when this fight is made."

"That is the biggest fight in boxing; Wilder-Fury is a really good fight to see who's the second best heavyweight in the world. Joshua-Wladimir Klitschko was the biggest fight in British boxing history, and Joshua-Wilder would eclipse that. We want that now."

Hearn insisted, "We're not waiting for time-wasters; we understand if they lose we'll have to find another opponent, but if you win, we're not waiting until December.

"These aren't negotiations that will take 24 hours, and Joshua's career is not being slowed down. If they don't want to do that, we'll fight someone else."




Meanwhile the 28-year-old Joshua said he too had no intention of being messed about by Wilder.

"If Wilder's not serious, there's other people out there; when he's ready, we're ready."

Joshua added, "Good luck to them both (Wilder and Fury) – boxing needs it.

"I've had the burden of the heavyweight division on my back for some years, because it was all about me fighting Wilder, Fury, Klitschko, Dillian (Whyte), Povetkin. That's all they were interested in – me fighting them all.

"So I'm happy those two are fighting. April 13 is booked, so whichever heavyweight is serious, we can look at making a deal. I have no interest in who wins; I'm not fussed."

Joshua was rocked by Povetkin, the 2004 Olympic champion, in the first round. But he insisted the 39-year-old Russian had not broken his nose.

"These guys the last thing they lose is their power, but it was a good way to wake up," Joshua said.

As for what lay behind his own public appeal, Joshua added, "The appeal is losing – who is going to be the man to beat me? Sometimes you have to go in there and really earn your money.

"Povetkin was a tough challenger for sure, but I knew how to break him down.

"I wasn't looking for the knockout but the instinct told he was hurt. I knew how to tidy up and I knew it was time to get out of there."


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