Anthony Joshua: ‘I can’t rest on this. It’s not time to sit back’

Anthony Joshua
Action Images/Andrew Couldridge
Anthony Joshua and his team on the issues around fighting Deontay Wilder next

ANTHONY JOSHUA says “it is not time to sit back” as he prepares for the next phase of his boxing career.

Joshua’s unanimous points victory over New Zealander Joseph Parker in Cardiff on Saturday gave him another world title and a 21st victory of his career.

Undefeated American Deontay Wilder – the division’s other champion – looks set to feature sooner rather than later on British star Joshua’s fight schedule.

And although there is work to be done in terms of securing a fight that could see Joshua add the WBC belt to his WBA, WBO and IBF honours, he is ready for Wilder’s threat.

“There is no issue with fighting anyone,” Joshua said.

“If you look at my 21 fights, there hasn’t been an issue of fighting anyone.

“I am not just going to give him (Wilder) everything he wants to get him here. He has to do a little bit of work and sacrifice a bit as well.”

Saturday’s win was the first time Joshua had been taken the distance in his professional career, but he never looked under serious threat.

“I can’t rest on this,” he added. “It is not time to sit back.

“Boxing and sport doesn’t give athletes a chance to make a mistake. It has to be perfection and it has to look great.

“I am a work in progress. I do like to be known as a big puncher, but at the same time, I want to be known as someone who can box. I am trying to work on my all-round game.”

Wilder stirred up some controversy this weekend by suggesting he wants to kill somebody in the ring.

And Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn said: “He (Wilder) has completely lost his head, and he is prepared to say or do anything to make the fight, other than actually try and make the fight.”

Hearn’s father Barry, chairman and founder of Joshua’s promoters Matchroom, told BBC Radio 5 Live’s Sportsweek programme: “Perhaps education could have come a little earlier for him.

“It was a horrible thing to say and something I am sure he regrets, but in the heat of the moment he is just trying to be famous.

“The only way to do that would be in the ring against Anthony Joshua, and he should keep those comments to himself.

Anthony Joshua

“Anthony Joshua wants all the belts – that is the big card Deontay Wilder has got to play (but) commercially, Joshua is far bigger than Deontay Wilder.

“I think Wilder would come over here (United Kingdom) because in the world we live in, in boxing, the couple of million dollars Wilder is getting for a fight is pretty small fry in comparison to the rewards that await him for a Joshua fight. Travelling is not usually a problem if the money is right.

“But I still think in the long term, if Anthony sits down and thinks it through, he may come to the decision that to be a truly global sports star he needs to go to America – not just for the money – but, in terms of the brand value of AJ, fighting in America is going to be on his horizon.”

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