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Holyfield: Wilder, Joshua ‘should make fight while they can’

The 55-year-old has urged the two heavyweight champions to strike while the iron is hot.

Deontay Wilder v Luis Ortiz Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

Former undisputed heavyweight world champion Evander Holyfield has urged fellow American Deontay Wilder and Britain’s Anthony Joshua to fight “while the money’s there”.

Wilder again called out Joshua after defending his WBC world heavyweight title against Luis Ortiz on Saturday.

WBA and IBF champion Joshua faces WBO title holder Joseph Parker on 31 March, but Holyfield warns it will be close.

Speaking to BBC Sport, Holyfield said:

”I don’t know if Joshua is going to beat Parker.”

“Parker’s a great fighter with a good mindset.”

55-year-old Holyfield was sat ringside as Wilder made the seventh defence of his WBC crown in the Barclays Centre, New York, the American stopping the big Cuban in the 10th round.

28-year-old “AJ” will meet 26-year-old New Zealander Parker in Cardiff’ at the Principality Stadium, the winner will hold three of the four recognised heavyweight titles.

32-year-old Wilder holds the other, sparking anticipation that he could face the winner to produce the first heavyweight to hold all four belts.

”All three of them have got the mindset and all three are youngish too,” Holyfield said.

”If Joshua wins [against Parker], I think he and Wilder can both make about $250m [£180m] so why not make the money while the money’s there?

”In being a great fighter you make money because you have proven to the people you are the best out there.”

Holyfield was an undisputed champion in the cruiserweight division before becoming the only man to achieve the same feat at heavyweight.

And the 1984 Olympic bronze medalist expects Wilder’s confidence to grow after recovering from an seventh round scare and feels self belief will be crucial if the “Bronze Bomber” meets Joshua.

”Your confidence gets even bigger.”

“When I beat George Foreman, I didn’t think a person with two hands could beat me. It didn’t matter how big or small they were.

”The guy with the most confidence, they get their hands off first. Somehow they figure things out because when you have confidence, you have no fear, so they take chances whether they win or lose. A person who doesn’t take chances loses.”

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