Unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua 22-0 (21) has accused Deontay Wilder 41-0-1 (40) of using his name to build his own profile after hearing that the WBC titleholder is planning to fight him within his next three bouts.
The Brit is in the final stages of his preparation for his US debut when he will defend his IBF, WBA and WBO titles against Andy Ruiz Jr at New York’s Madison Square Garden on June 1.
On Friday, Wilder’s co-manager Shelly Finkel said that they were targeting Joshua, Tyson Fury and Luis Ortiz for their next three fights. The rumour doing is the rounds is that Ortiz will be the first cab off the rank.
But Joshua isn’t holding his breath for their enticing unification bout to happen, saying he doesn’t even expect Wilder to attend his upcoming title defence.
“Whether he is going to be there or not is irrelevant. Do I think he will fight me next? No,” said Joshua.
“Luis Ortiz turned down our offer because he has something coming down the pipeline, which looks like being Wilder.
“He said he wanted to fight me for so long. So now, unless he does, I’m going to be looking at it as a PR campaign to build his name off my back.
“If you’re a representative of Pepsi and I’m a representative of Coke, I’m going to say anything negative about Pepsi to boost my profile and that is what he does.
“He talks about me all the time because he is the closest thing to me in the division and it helps build his name.
“But he doesn’t live up to it, does he? He doesn’t fight for what he believes in.”
Despite his feelings towards Wilder, Joshua admitted his career would be incomplete if he didn’t get the opportunity to fight the outspoken Alabaman or the equally verbose Fury.
“I would regret it massively,” Joshua said. “Without getting those fights I would not be able to finish boxing with a smile on my face.
“I would be happy to finish with Wilder, Fury and Ortiz on my record, after fighting Wladimir Klitschko, Alexander Povetkin, Joseph Parker and now Ruiz Jr.”