Anthony Joshua insists a “curveball” offer could tempt Deontay Wilder into a dream undisputed heavyweight championship fight, and has revealed he has held meetings to discuss how to set it up.
WBC champion Wilder will face Tyson Fury in a rematch on February 22 while Joshua will defend his newly-regained IBF, WBA and WBO titles against either Kubrat Pulev or Oleksandr Usyk, whose representatives he met for negotiations last week.
But Joshua’s attention is already on Wilder, and he told Sky Sports News: “We’ve had meetings. That same meeting with Usyk’s manager, afterwards we had another meeting to potentially put an offer in to solidify [a fight with Wilder] before they have even had their fight, and before I have my next fight.
“Everyone wants Wilder to win because [a fight with me] is what everyone wants to see. Wilder has a great right hand, I have a great left hand. It is a great boxing match.
“We had a meeting about that. It has great potential. I heard [Wilder and Fury] have a third fight lined up towards the end of the year but we have to throw a curveball in there.
“Something that gets Wilder’s attention providing he wins so that he thinks to himself: ‘Even though I have a rematch clause, I’ll see how I can manipulate my contract, get out of it, and fight for the undisputed championship’.”
Wilder and Fury, who fought to a draw 13 months ago, have already spoken about a third fight later in 2020.
Joshua said about Fury: “He bet on Charles Martin to beat me, he bet on Joseph Parker to beat me! He’s a bit of a waffler. Fury does what Fury does. He said that he spoke to Conor McGregor on the phone? That was a lie as well!
“I’m supporting Fury because imagine the local kids being able to watch the undisputed championship fight on their doorstep. I’d love it to be here in the UK.”
Joshua must first defend his belts against one of his mandatory challengers, Pulev (IBF) or Usyk (WBO).
“The one that I don’t fight, I will fight eventually,” he said. “In the heavyweight division everyone is welcome to challenge so even if it doesn’t happen first time, one of them will fight me in the future.
“We will end up fighting anyway.”