Anthony Joshua believes Deontay Wilder has done him a favour by ruling out their long-awaited fight for the undisputed world heavyweight championship for another year.
Wilder’s announcement that his next fight will be a rematch with Luis Ortiz has enraged boxing fans, and is also a bid to upstage Joshua’s defence of his belts against Andy Ruiz Junior in Madison Square Garden on Saturday night.
But Joshua senses that Wilder has played into his hands.
He says: “Believe me, I would rather fight Wilder in two years, because I know I will get better all the time. And at 33, he’s the one who’s getting older.
“I’ve had to be pushing to fight him because of all the public demand. If it wasn’t for the pressure – from which I can’t hide, like he can – I could be fighting Joe Bloggs, fighting anyone.
“Wilder’s not under that kind of pressure because nobody knows him.”
Joshua feels he’s been rushed since turning professional the year after he won gold, as a late starter in boxing, at the 2012 London Olympics.
He says: “It’s been like that since after only my third pro fight, I was being asked when I was going to fight Wladimir Klitschko.
“Now imagine two years ago when I was beating Charles Martin for the world title after knocking out Dillian Whyte – compare the type of fighter I was then, to where I’ve got to now.
“Then think about where I’ll be when I’m fighting Wilder in a year or two. I’ll be a lot more sound.”
It helps Joshua that Wilder is taking all the heat for the latest disappointment.
But his decision to fight Ortiz again was not unexpected.
The giant TV companies separately controlling Wilder, Joshua and Tyson Fury will not be unhappy with the latest development.
The longer the wait, the bigger the fight.Daily Mail