Joshua wants Wilder fight next

British heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua wants to add the WBC belt to his collection.
British heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua wants to add the WBC belt to his collection.PHOTO: REUTERS

CARDIFF (United Kingdom) • Being the man to beat in boxing's heavyweight division comes with privileges and Anthony Joshua asserted them on Saturday, telling Deontay Wilder in no uncertain terms that he had to come to his backyard for a unification fight.

The Briton added Joshua Parker's (24-1, 18 KOs) World Boxing Organisation (WBO) heavyweight title to his International Boxing Federation (IBF), International Boxing Organisation (IBO) and World Boxing Association (WBA) belts with a unanimous points decision over the New Zealander at Cardiff's Principality Stadium.

Despite being taken to 12 rounds and failing to knock out an opponent for the first time in his unbeaten 21-fight professional career, the golden boy of British boxing called out America - in the shape of World Boxing Council (WBC) champion Wilder - to fight him on home turf for the undisputed crown.

"All these years, the UK fighters (have) had to go to America and everyone had to spend a heap of money to go to (Las) Vegas," he told a 78,000-strong crowd.

"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."

The WBC title is the only one remaining on his radar and now the pressure will build for a glamour bout with the undefeated Wilder (40-0, 39KOs).

Joshua was quick to demand the opportunity to seal his legacy, saying now was "not (the) time to sit back and enjoy the ride".

"I want Wilder. Get him in the ring and I'll knock him spark out," he said after judges scored the fight 118-110, 118-110, 119-109 in his favour.

"2018 was always a time to capture all the belts. We are one away now."

Wilder took to Twitter to insist he was "the baddest man in the world". But Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn said: "He talks the talk, he can't walk the walk."


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 02, 2018, with the headline 'Joshua wants Wilder fight next'. Print Edition | Subscribe