Heavyweight world champion Anthony Joshua has ordered WBC king Deontay Wilder to accept his offer an April bout
ANTHONY JOSHUA has ordered Deontay Wilder to accept his offer of an April 13 fight to decide an undisputed heavyweight king IF he really believes he is the best.
The WBO, IBF and WBA champ has offered the American a career-high of £11.5million to put his WBC belt on the line at Wembley.
But the 32-year-old is instead close to announcing a shock December bout with former unified champ Tyson Fury.
Wilder is demanding a 50-50 split with 29-year-old AJ but the Watford superstar insists the Alabama giant needs to swallow his pride and take the offer, like he did when he was crowned IBF king in 2016 after paying Charles Martin to visit the O2.
Joshua said: “I can’t be disappointed yet because it is still on the table. If the fight is written off then I would be upset but it is still on the table.
“He will make a deal because, finance aside, if you believe you are better than me – and you have a chance to prove it to the world in a global event – then why wouldn’t you fight me?
“And that’s to all of them, including Fury.
“I have taken less in fights because I have backed myself. I took a massive pay cut to face Charles Martin – you have to play the game a bit.
“If you beat me and beat me in a rematch then you are set to be the king of the heavyweight division. But, if you believe it, then you have to sign a contract and get it done.”
Wilder has an unblemished record of 40-0 but Joshua believes that lengthy career could count against he 6ft 7in knockout artist.
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AJ is just five years and 21 fights into his pro career and he believes Wilder only has a handful left before quitting.
Ahead of his fight with Alexander Povetkin next Saturday, AJ said: “I would not say he wants out of the sport.
“But after 40 training camps, even if you are knocking guys out in one round, you have done hundreds of sparring rounds and miles on the road running, that is wear and tear on the body.
“He has been professional since 2008, that is a ten-year pro career and that is a long time. He has been hurt by Eric Molina and others, I think maybe he has two or three years left.”
Joshua is studying his sport much more closely now, after being inspired by heavyweight legend Joe Louis, and has been watching tapes of Povetkin in the build-up to his latest defence.
The 39-year-old Soviet hero knocked Carlos Takam clean out in 2014 and AJ had a tough night against the Frenchman when they met three years later.
Louis avenged his 1936 defeat to German Max Schmeling after swatting up his rival and AJ hopes his research pays off in the same way.
He said: “I remember Joe Louis lost his first fight with Max Schmeling, he studied him and then knocked him out in round one of the rematch, that shows you how much important studying is.
“Takam is a tough cookie so when I watched Povetkin knock him out I thought ‘hello, he is a bit of a puncher’.
“I have watched him more now and I understand how he lands some of his shots, I have watched him in sparring.
“I know the shots that hit him, I have watched how his weight fluctuates. I will study him properly. I like his style, it is a dangerous one.”