Anthony Joshua fires back at Deontay Wilder by insisting rival is ‘NOT an elite level fighter’… and warns fight against him would end badly for the American because he’s ‘not one of the tomato cans he’s knocked out’ in the past

  • Deontay Wilder is preparing for a trilogy bout against bitter rival Tyson Fury
  • In the build-up he revealed he is pushing for a fight next with Anthony Joshua
  • Joshua, who holds the IBO, WBO, WBA and IBF belts, responded with a jibe
  • The Briton said Wilder is not elite and he would represent a step up in class 

Anthony Joshua produced a withering assessment of rival Deontay Wilder by claiming the ‘Bronze Bomber’ is ‘not an elite level fighter’.  

Wilder is busy preparing to face Tyson Fury in a trilogy fight after a judged ruled on the legitimacy at his right to a rematch following his brutal defeat. 

The American is full of confidence in winning back his WBC heavyweight belt and has talked up his next move, chief among them being to fight Joshua for the undisputed title.  

Deontay Wilder has been dismissed as not an 'elite level fighter' by Anthony Joshua

Joshua was called out for 'excuses' by Wilder but the Brit played down any threat by the American

Anthony Joshua (right) has targeted Deontay Wilder (left) by saying he is not an elite fighter 

But Joshua, who now looks set to face WBO mandatory Oleksandr Usyk with a Battle of Britain fight against Fury temporarily shelved, has suggested there are levels to greatness – and Wilder is not on his level.

Joshua told Sky Sports: ‘I’m an elite level fighter, not one of the tomato cans he’s knocked out.

‘He better watch what he’s saying because when the day comes for me and him, I know what I’m capable of doing.

‘He ain’t an elite level fighter.’

Joshua continued his takedown of the Alabama fighter by going on to add that Wilder’s explosive right hand is his only ‘weapon’ and no heavyweight champion can ‘go to war’ with just one in his armoury. 

Joshua is just the WBC title - currently owned by Tyson Fury - away from being undisputed

 Joshua is just the WBC title – currently owned by Tyson Fury – away from being undisputed

Fury (right) and Wilder (left) will fight in a trilogy bout in Las Vegas on July 24 for the WBC belt

 Fury (right) and Wilder (left) will fight in a trilogy bout in Las Vegas on July 24 for the WBC belt

Much will hinge on the outcome of the Wilder-Fury trilogy bout in Las Vegas on July 24, as well as the outcome of Joshua-Usyk, with a date for that match-up still to be officially announced.

Wilder had previously suggested that ‘excuses’ are already being made for Joshua to avoid fighting him should he defeat Fury and reclaim his title.  

‘Most definitely, hands down [I want the Joshua fight], Wilder told Sky Sports.

‘Without no excuses, no mandatories, nothing in the way. As I see, they already making up excuses. They already got a mandatory planned ahead.

‘No one really wants to fight someone like me, and I don’t blame them.’

Joshua rubbished suggestions of ‘excuses’ and said he will ‘fight them all’ in pursuit of being the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world.  

Joshua was hoping to fight Fury before an arbitration forced his British rival to face Wilder

Joshua was hoping to fight Fury before an arbitration forced his British rival to face Wilder

Wilder (right) is confident he will take back his title and then turn attentions toward Joshua

Wilder (right) is confident he will take back his title and then turn attentions toward Joshua 

Looking ahead to a September fight with Usyk, mooted for the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn has already revealed the fight contract will include a rematch clause. 

Hearn played down the significance of having a rematch clause, saying it would benefit Usyk hugely should he win the first fight because he would then be paid a lucrative pay packet for the second fight. 

When asked by BetFred if there would be a rematch clause in place, Hearn replied: ‘There will be,’ insisting the term was not holding up negotiations. 

‘All the terms are agreed and that was a prior term. When you talk about a rematch clause, it’s also the biggest fight that fighter could have. 

‘Sometimes people think, “that’s a bad thing”. It’s actually sometimes a good thing. Andy Ruiz ended up getting quite a lot of money for his rematch, but it’s a massive opportunity. If Oleksandr Usyk wins, he then makes an absolute fortune to fight AJ again.’

Hearn is lining up two dates for the fight – September 18 or September 25, with Wembley Stadium also a possible contender to host the bout. 

Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn has confirmed Oleksandr Usyk, the WBO mandatory challenger to face Joshua next, will have a rematch clause in their deal to fight in September

 Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn has confirmed Oleksandr Usyk, the WBO mandatory challenger to face Joshua next, will have a rematch clause in their deal to fight in September

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