IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua 23-1 (21) has refused to call out WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder 42-0-1 (41) or Tyson Fury 29-0-1 (20) following his 12-round unanimous decision win over Andy Ruiz Jr 33-2 (22) at the Diriyah Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Saturday night.
Joshua won almost every round against Ruiz Jr in the rematch of his seventh-round TKO loss to the 30-year-old Mexican-American at New York’s Madison Square Garden in June.
Now he says the onus is on the other top heavyweights to come to him.
“What can I say? I have been speaking about these guys a long time. You see this time, when I had the opportunity to just focus solely on Andy, my head is in the right place,” Joshua said.
“When Wilder, Fury, [Luis] Ortiz and [Oleksandr] Usyk are really ready, they will make the call. Until then, I respect them. I won’t continue to call them out. I am making my own lane and if they want to be a part of that, they will call.
“Ruiz did it and created a legacy. If those guys want to do it, they can create a legacy too. Look at all I have done, come on. When I call them out and do all of that, I lose focus.”
The 30-year-old Brit said he would be open to a third fight with Ruiz Jr despite the one-sided nature of his most recent win.
“Without a doubt. If you heard, we are going to do a third,” he said. “He beat me fair and square the first time and I beat him fair and square the second time. So we will do it again. 100%.”
Promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing suggested that fights with Wilder and Fury would be far more lucrative now than they would have been a year ago.
“Anthony has been chasing them for years. Those fights will happen,” he said.
“Maybe they were right to walk away from those fights back then because the fight is worth much more now.
“AJ wants the legacy. He created that legacy tonight in Saudi Arabia. He sells out arenas around the world. He is transforming boxing. These other guys can’t lace his boots! He is only 24 fights in and he is only going to get better.”