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Joshua: I’m willing to fight Deontay Wilder on April 13 in London

Anthony Joshua appears on First Take to let the world know he’s prepared to face Deontay Wilder next.

Anthony Joshua v Alexander Povetkin - World Heavyweight Title Fight Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images
Wil Esco is an assistant editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2014.

Unified heavyweight titleholder Anthony Joshua made an appearance on ESPN’s First Take, making it clear that he’s ready and willing to have a showdown with Deontay Wilder in his next fight for all the marbles.

“My situation is that - [Wilder’s] saying that I won’t fight him. As I’ve said, I’m willing to fight Deontay Wilder April 13th in London. So I don’t know what more I have to do to get that message across. He’s more interested in fighting Tyson Fury. Tyson Fury holds no world titles.

“Let me say this, I can’t control what Deontay Wilder, I can’t control what Tyson Fury does — or even as far as what they say. But what I can control is what I say and what I’m doing. I made sure, with the negotiations, I’ve booked the date in advance, set the venue in advance, and I’m making my point clear in front of everyone watching: I’m willing to fight any one of these guys, especially the champion Deontay Wilder, April 13th at Wembley. What more can I say?

“I’m not interested in Tyson Fury, though, ‘cause he’s not the champion. That’s where I’m coming from. But that ‘lineal’ status, when I was joining the heavyweight ranks no one told me about lineal champion. I knew about WBC, IBO, IBF, WBA, and WBO, and I’ve got my hands on four of them. So I don’t know where this lineal just popped out of the woodworks from.

“But if I’ve got to get my hands on that too, and that’s a belt that the world’s interested in [Editor’s Note: There’s no actual lineal belt], then Fury can step in if he’s serious. That’s where I’m coming from, I wanna fight the champions. I’m the one leading the pack, I’ve been doing that since I made my debut. Five years in, seven world title defenses, and I’m running the game. I mean business. And I don’t know what more I got to do to get that message across to the world.

“As I’ve said, maybe because I’m not on here with ice around my neck, flashing jewels and talking about PPV numbers — that’s not really my swag, you know what I’m saying — but I handle my business, that’s where I’m coming from. I’m about my business and I do that in the ring.”

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