Heavyweight showdown will be ‘on my terms’ – AJ warns Deontay Wilder

The IBF and WBA champion has hit back at Wilder’s suggestion that Eddie Hearn has deliberately delayed negotiations, claiming that it is in fact the American dragging his heels.

Anthony Joshua has told Deontay Wilder that any showdown between the pair will be on “my terms”, after outlining his plans to become the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world.

The 28-year-old last fought in October, when he defeated Carlos Takam by TKO at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff to defend his IBF and WBA titles.

Joshua’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, commented after the fight that both WBC champion Wilder and WBO champion Joseph Parker were being lined up for contests in 2018. But Wilder, who “declared war” on his British rival immediately after stopping Bermane Stiverne inside a round in the early hours of Sunday morning, has accused Hearn of deliberately delaying the negotiations.

“Eddie is ducking me more so than Joshua,” he told the BBC. “If you want to stay at home like a little girl, this king has no problem travelling to knock out the champion.”

Joshua has however denied that he is the one dragging his heels, insisting that Hearn is doing all he can to arrange the fight.

“I’m serious about becoming undisputed heavyweight champion of the world,” he told the Press Association. “We’re just making sure that a lot of these guys who are making noise will back up what they’re saying.

“But if Wilder’s not making an offer we’ll do it on my terms. Present him with an offer, and see how they feel about that offer.

“That only goes to the champions: Deontay Wilder and Joseph Parker. It’s the same situation to both of them.”

Joshua also said that he would preferably have an arrangement in place with Wilder by Christmas, so that he can begin his fight preparations in the first week of January.

“It’s no problem if Wilder wants to fight early next year, but no offers have been made to me,” he added. “There has never been an offer. Everyone says they want to fight, and then sits back and waits for me to do all the homework.

“What we then have to do – which Eddie’s doing – is fly out to the United States to make time.

“No offers have been made from their or our side; we had a mandatory in place, and now we’re taking the time and effort to get the ball rolling.

“There’s one thing talking and acting, but negotiations don’t happen over social media. We’re now making the moves forward.

Hearn revealed earlier in the week that there was a good chance the historic unification fight between Joshua and Wilder could take place at Twickenham Stadium, owing to scheduling problems at Wembley Stadium next year.

“Any stadium that caters for a combat sport definitely has a place for boxing in it,” he commented.

“But for all the people coming to Twickenham, I’d love to have a credible night, someone with some ‘assets’, these belts that I’m trying to get my hands on.

“Let’s focus on who I’m fighting first. I’ve actually been there on a tour, never to watch a game, but when I was younger I went there on a tour to look at the grounds.

“I definitely liked it: it’s massive, it’s got the hospitality.”

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