Anthony Joshua insists Deontay Wilder has finally revealed “the truth” about not accepting a deal to fight and has criticised his rival who “dragged my name through the mud”.
Joshua and Wilder were rival undefeated champions from 2016 to 2019 and were seemingly on a collision course but a fight with every major heavyweight belt at stake never materialised.
A tweet from former WBC champion Wilder aimed at Tyson Fury at the weekend said: “You know I was offered more money to fight Joshua than I was getting to fight you. Again being a man of my word, I fought you.”
Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn sarcastically reacted: “I thought AJ ducked you?”
“It makes the ultimate sense.It’s hard because at the time when people are talking and you see lots of media stuff, you start to believe what that person is saying. Joshua told Sky Sports
“When time goes by, naturally the truth will always reveal itself.
“I get a lot of stick but I take it with a pinch of salt.
“He admitted it. We made him a lucrative offer but he wanted to face Fury.
“So be it. If that’s what he wanted to do, fine, but he dragged my name through the mud.
“While Wilder was trying to make me look like a bad person, that I didn’t want to enhance the sport, or fight certain fighters, I just had to roll with the punches.
“He has come out and said it himself. We offered him a really good deal but he wanted to fight Fury.
“People can take it how they want, and see what the truth is now.”
Joshua will defend his IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles against Kubrat Pulev on December 12, and has agreed financial terms to two fights against Fury in 2021 to decide an undisputed champion.