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Anthony Joshua: Deontay Wilder is not an elite fighter, only has one weapon

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AJ and Wilder are talking some smack once again.

Karwai Tang/WireImage via Getty Images and Meg Oliphant/Getty Images

Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder have decided to fire up the old trash talk, going back-and-forth a bit in the media this week.

Wilder, of course, is set to face Tyson Fury for a third time on July 24, while it’s expected that Joshua will face WBO mandatory challenger Oleksandr Usyk later this summer or early fall.

But with Wilder saying that he’d KO Joshua in “devastating fashion” — and also that Joshua is “making excuses” to not fight him by having a mandatory in Usyk, which is typical Wilder nonsense — Joshua fired back, saying Wilder isn’t an elite fighter and has only one weapon:

“He isn’t an elite-level fighter, in my opinion. He’s good. It’s the heavyweights, so they always know one punch can change the course of a fight. But I’ve never, ever seen in the heavyweight division a fighter going to war with just one weapon, which is what they say is his right hand. ... As we’ve seen now with certain fights of elite-level fighters, he struggles at the top level, and there’s a lot more of us waiting for that opportunity as well to kick his ass. ... I am an elite-level fighter. I’m not one of those tomato cans he’s knocked out.”

Joshua (24-1, 22 KO) does want to fight Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KO), assuming Wilder, uh, proves AJ wrong and beats Fury, I guess?

I would quibble with the idea that there are “a lot more” elite-level heavyweights waiting to “kick Wilder’s ass.” Who? Fury and Joshua? Is Andy Ruiz gonna do it? Usyk? Dillian Whyte? I don’t know. The heavyweight division remains, for the time being, a bit of a three-headed monster, but if Wilder loses to Fury next month, it’ll be one less ahead for a minute, and we still won’t exactly be getting Fury-Joshua right after or anything.