Joshua: I’ll still fight Wilder if he loses to Fury
By Tim Royner: Anthony Joshua says he’ll still fight Deontay Wilder if he loses to Tyson Fury on December 1. Joshua says Wilder is too big of a name for him to ignore him just because of a loss to the 6’9″ Fury (27-0, 19 KOs). Wilder (40-0, 39 KOs) will still be a huge name for Joshua to fight even if he loses to Fury.
Joshua (22-0, 21 KOs) doesn’t have a lot of options for big fights in the heavyweight division right now. Beyond Wilder, Dillian Whyte, Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk, there’s not much for Joshua to fight in the division. The division is barren of big names now that Wladimir Klitschko and Alexander Povetkin have both been beaten by Joshua. There’s no going backwards for Joshua with those fighters.
“Even if he lost, I’d still fight him, because he’s a big name and people do what to see it anyway,” Joshua said to IFL TV in saying that he would still fight Wilder if he loses to Tyson Fury on December 1. “So I’ll still fight him [Wilder], yeah. Fury needs to focus on Wilder, and that’s all he needs to worry about and he’ll do a good job. Maybe he’ got a good game plan and remedy, so good luck to him.”
Joshua almost didn’t get past Povetkin (34-2, 24 KOs) last Saturday night in their fight at Wembley Stadium in London, England. Povetkin was viewed as being ahead 4 rounds to 2 at the time that Joshua stopped him in the 7th round. Povetkin hurt Joshua in round one with a hard right hand shot that broke his nose. If Povetkin had been able to continue to land hard shots, he would have knocked him out.
“I’m the heavyweight champion of the world for the next seven months until I have to lay it on the line again,” Joshua said. “He hit me with a good shot, but I bounced back,” Joshua said about the big right hand that Povetkin clobbered him with in round one that hurt him. “It busted my nose. He had the potential to [knock me out]. He’s strong. I don’t really respect 15 stone people, because 15 stone people aren’t able to do much, but he’s strong and quick. At that weight, he’s very quick. If I let him hit me with counter shots, it could have been dangerous. Certain fighters, he’d cause a lot of problems,” Joshua said.
Joshua sounds like he’s not respectful of fighters that weigh in the 220s. Too bad a prime Mike Tyson isn’t around today. It have been interesting to see what a 220 pound Mike Tyson would have been able to do with Joshua with his power shots. The reality is that Joshua can be hurt by fighters in the 220s and even lighter. Deontay Wilder weighed 214 pounds for his last fight against Luis Ortiz and he knocked him out in the 10th round. Wilder weighed 220 pounds for his fight before that against Bermane Stiverne, and he knocked him out in the 1st round last November. Stiverne might have a better chin than Joshua, and yet he wasn’t able to take Wilder’s power. Joshua may learn to respect lighter fighters one day if he didn’t learn respect last Saturday night in his fight against Povetkin.
“I’ve got to lay it on the line again on April 13,” Joshua said “Credit to Povetkin. He came, he tried and he put up a good fight, but I was victorious. Hopefully against a taller, rangier opponent, because I find that easier than a shorter opponent that is rolling and trying to counter punch. He’s strong,” Joshua said about Povetkin. “He showed me,” Joshua said.
Joshua wasn’t doing well against the tall, rangy 6’6″ Wladimir Klitschko in 2017. Wladimir knocked Joshua down in round 6, and had him ready to be knocked out. Joshua was not doing well in the fight until Wladimir made the mistake of not trying to finish AJ after he had him hurt in the sixth. Joshua should have lost that fight, and no, he didn’t do well. Joshua’s selective memory of his own past is troubling, because it suggests that he doesn’t remember how badly he performed against Klitschko.
“Until the contract is signed, I don’t really focus on people,” Joshua said when asked if he’ll be getting ready to fight the 6’7″ Wilder on April 13.