Anthony Joshua ‘would love’ unification bout with Deontay Wilder, open to Andy Ruiz Jr. trilogy
Anthony Joshua said he “would love” to unify his heavyweight belts in a showdown with Deontay Wilder now that the British boxer has regained his titles.
Joshua reclaimed the WBA (Super), WBO and IBF belts by unanimous decision over Andy Ruiz Jr. on Saturday in Saudi Arabia and live on DAZN, in a rematch with the man who sensationally dethroned him in June.
Joshua (23-1, 21 KOs) produced a calculated performance to avenge the only loss of his professional career, the challenger prevailing 118-110 on two of the scorecards and 119-109 on the other.
After Joshua became a two-time heavyweight champion, the attention quickly turned to a potential blockbuster fight with WBC titleholder Wilder, who is set to meet Tyson Fury in a rematch on Feb. 22.
Asked whether he wanted a unification bout against Wilder, Joshua told reporters: “Yeah, definitely. I would love to. I’ve united four.
“It’s hard to keep and unite them. We will see what happens. I think me chasing, same in the fights, it may come crashing down. I’m just going to let the path take its course. When the opportunity presents itself, I’ll step up and take the challenge.”
TWO TIME pic.twitter.com/CutWIGDfD8
— Anthony Joshua (@anthonyfjoshua) December 7, 2019
While Joshua vs. Wilder is the fight everyone wants to see, the 2012 Olympic gold medalist is open to facing Ruiz again in Saudi Arabia to complete the trilogy. Ruiz called for a third bout as well in his postfight interview.
“The great thing is his view on Saudi Arabia,” Joshua said when asked about Ruiz’s determination for a third battle. “That’s a positive because he was a bit wary at first, so it’s nice to see he has changed his opinion.
“It’s neutral ground and territory. If he is keen, [Oleksandr] Usyk and [Kubrat] Pulev, Ruiz, I don’t want to mention the other guys’ names, you know who they are, but when they’re ready.
“I’ve fought a lot of great names on my record and beaten some good names, too. Andy is still on that list because we make good music. He is a good dancing partner.”
Before any potential bouts with Ruiz and Wilder, Joshua has mandatory commitments to fulfill.
The WBO ordered Joshua make his mandatory defense against Usyk within 180 days, while the IBF wants the heavyweight champion to face challenger Pulev.
“Let’s rock and roll,” Joshua said. “No problem.”
Promoter Eddie Hearn added: “There’s an IBF mandatory and WBO mandatory. Tonight is about celebrating the victory.
“Pulev is the IBF mandatory. Usyk is the WBO mandatory. I see [Joshua] wanting to take both of those fights as well.
“We will have to speak to the governing bodies, see who goes first, then deal with that. Joshua will have a nice Christmas, and we will work behind the scenes.”
Story by Sacha Pisani