WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder 42-0-1 (41) was decidedly unimpressed by Anthony Joshua’s 12-round boxing masterclass against Andy Ruiz Jr in Saudi Arabia on Saturday night.
Joshua 23-1 (21) regained the IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight championships he lost to Ruiz Jr 33-2 (22) in New York back in June with a wide unanimous points win by scores of 119-109 and 118-108 twice.
But it wasn’t enough to impress Wilder, who panned the performance as “dance and grab and jab and hold”.
“Joshua did what he had to do to get the win,” Wilder told The Athletic. “He ran around the ring and was on his bike all day. Basically, he had [Wladimir] Klitschko in the camp and he was a lot like Klitschko: that jab-grab-hold method. That’s all he did tonight.
“He was so hesitant… Joshua’s mentality was to survive. The Klitschko method. You want to dominate guys, man.
“I’m not coming in, after losing to this guy, to just dance and grab and jab and hold. I’m going to show the world and convince them I am the very best and that no one is close to me, especially with what’s going on in the division right now. It’s a time of proving who is the best.
“How can no one say I’m not the very best in the world now? I’ve given you what you pay for each and every time, especially when we’re talking about a heavyweight bout.
“Fans come to see knockouts. They come to see something dramatic — a body lying on the canvas, spread like it’s having birth. That’s what people want to see, and that’s my mentality.”
Next up for Joshua appears to be a mandatory title defence against either IBF number one Kubrat Pulev or WBO number one Oleksandr Usyk, while Wilder is scheduled to face Tyson Fury 29-0-1 (20) in a rematch on February 22 in Las Vegas.
The undefeated American doesn’t see a four-belt unification belt happening anytime soon, if ever.
“I don’t think we’ll ever see a unification bout. We’ll never see it, and I don’t want people to get their hopes up on it because it’ll never happen,” said Wilder.
“His promoter [Matchroom Boxing’s Eddie Hearn] talks about what they’ve accomplished, how many people attend, how they sell out this and that, but the thing is, nobody gives a f— about those statistics and numbers. People want to see your heavyweight in there with our heavyweight. That’s it. We’re tired of hearing that other s—.
“I’m too dangerous. You’ve seen what I do in the ring. I don’t play around. And they know if Ruiz can get Joshua out of there, imagine [what I could do]… that’s why they stayed away from me.”
Wilder saved some venom for Ruiz Jr, who entered the fight a full 15-pounds heavier than the first bout at 283-pounds.
“Ruiz said he was doing great [before the fight], not letting this moment get to him, but in the end you hear him saying he ate too much and should’ve trained harder… like, what the f—? What do you mean you ate too much and could’ve trained harder?” he said.
“I take this s— seriously. I don’t know what their mentality is, but I didn’t become champion of the world just to say, ‘Put me in the record books. At least I can say I was a champion. They can never take that away from me.’
“I’m here for legacy. Long live the king! That’s my mentality, and America should love a world champion like me.”
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