Joshua wants Wilder title bout but in Britain

Reuters
ANTHONY Joshua, ever more the golden boy of British boxing, says he has no interest in trying to conquer America after adding a fourth world heavyweight championship belt.
Reuters
Reuters

Anthony Joshua poses with the belts after winning the world heavyweight title unification fight against Joseph Parker in Cardiff, Wales, on Saturday. 

ANTHONY Joshua, ever more the golden boy of British boxing, says he has no interest in trying to conquer America after adding a fourth world heavyweight championship belt to his collection on Saturday.

Instead, he wants America — in the shape of World Boxing Council champion Deontay Wilder — to come and fight him in his own backyard for the undisputed crown.

The WBC title is the only one remaining on Joshua’s radar after he took the World Boxing Organization championship from New Zealand’s previously unbeaten Joseph Parker with a unanimous points decision at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium.

Joshua, who already had the World Boxing Association, International Boxing Federation and International Boxing Organization titles, told the 78,000-strong crowd to expect more such big nights in future.

“All these years, the UK fighters had to go to America and everyone had to spend a heap of money to go to Vegas,” he said from the ring.

“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,” he said, also namechecking compatriot Tyson Fury as another possible opponent.

Joshua won his first three belts by stopping Ukrainian Wladimir Klitschko at London’s Wembley Stadium in April last year, with 90,000 fans celebrating one of the great nights for British boxing.

He has now twice defended titles in Cardiff before similarly huge crowds.

Asked what he would have to do to beat Wilder, Joshua replied: “Get him in the ring and I’ll knock him spark out.”

The Briton’s promoter Eddie Hearn questioned whether Wilder was up to the challenge, however.

“Deontay Wilder was supposed to be here tonight, but he pulled out,” he told Sky Sports television.

“Deontay Wilder’s people don’t contact us, they don’t want to know. He talks the talk, he can’t walk the walk.”

“We’ll do it anywhere,” he added. “Have you seen where he boxes? He boxes in some great venues with no one there. Look at what we’re doing over here. Look at what Anthony Joshua’s doing.

“Deontay Wilder will be watching right now. And this is called a show, this is called a crowd. He will not beat AJ and these people.”

Wilder, unbeaten in 40 fights, begged to differ and put out a video on social media after the fight suggesting he wanted to make it happen.

“Of course I want Joshua to fight, he knows it no matter what they say and no matter what his promoter says ... I want the fight, let’s make the fight happen, stop making these excuses,” the American said.

In the ring, Joshua, the 2012 Olympic champion, was taken to 12 rounds for the first time in his professional career after 20 previous knockouts.

The three judges scored it 118-110, 118-110 and 119-109 to Joshua.

Both fighters had stepped into the ring undefeated, with Joshua weighing in six pounds heavier than his shorter opponent and with a longer reach.

If some had expected an early knockout it did not pan out that way, even if Joshua could be said to have controlled most of the 12 rounds by using his jab and left hooks to telling effect.

Apart from an explosive sixth round, with both trading some stinging blows, neither looked likely to buckle with Parker, 26, showing more staying power than any of Joshua’s previous opponents.

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