By Eric Flaherty: Anthony Joshua says he doesn’t view former WBC heavyweight champion Deontay ‘The Bronze Bomber’ Wilder as one of the elite fighters, and he’s warning him to watch what comes out of his mouth.
Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs) said last week that he’ll obliterate Joshua (24-1, 22 KOs) when the two ever meet and make it look easy. It was an odd statement by Wilder because he’s not fighting Joshua next, and there’s some doubt whether he ever will.
Deontay has a fight next month against WBC champion Tyson Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) in a trilogy match at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Fury, 32, is viewed as the favorite in that fight, and it’s going to take a special performance from Wilder to come out as the winner in that contest. The two fighters have fought twice, with Fury dominating both matches.
It’s also premature for IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Joshua t be talking about what he would do to Wilder because he still has his WBO mandatory Oleksandr Usyk to get out of the way in September.
Joshua says Wilder isn’t elite level
“I’m an elite level fighter, not one of the tomato cans he’s knocked out,” said Joshua to Sky Sports News about Wilder.
“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 doesn’t have a whole heck of a lot of room to talk when saying that Wilder isn’t an elite-level heavyweight. It was only three fights ago that Andy Ruiz Jr knocked out Joshua.
Since that loss, Joshua has rebounded with victories over an out-of-shape 283-lb Ruiz Jr and a 40-year-old Kubrat Pulev. We haven’t seen enough impressive performances from Joshua to call him an elite-level.
The closest thing that the heavyweight division has to an elite-level fighter is Tyon Fury, and with him, you never know what you’re going to get. Fury can look really good in one fight and then turn around and look poor in the next.
“I’ve never seen a fighter going to war with one weapon, his right hand,” Joshua continued about Wilder.
“Top-level, that doesn’t work. As we’ve seen now, he struggles at the top level, and there’s a lot more of us waiting for that opportunity to kick his arse.”
There are plenty of fighters in each division that favor one hand over another, and they still do well. When you have an eraser like Wilder’s right hand, it’s just as good as having two.
What Wilder has that Joshua doesn’t is stamina, as he can fight hard for a full 12 round contest without gassing out. Joshua fades too quickly in his fights, particularly when he’s pushed at a fast pace.