IBF, IBO, WBA, WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua has admitted he has to fight Deontay Wilder in order to be considered the best heavyweight on the planet.
Joshua was in talks to face the WBC heavyweight titleholder in a multi-million-pound unification bout earlier this year.
However, the pair’s representatives failed to come to terms, which prompted the WBA to order Joshua to face Alexander Povetkin.
Joshua saw off the challenge of the durable Russian back in September at Wembley Stadium, stopping him in the seventh round of a thoroughly entertaining affair.
The manner of his victory over Povetkin, who had only ever tasted defeated to Wladimir Klitschko prior to facing ‘AJ’, strengthened fans’ calls for him to face Wilder.
Joshua himself is keen to take on ‘The Bronze Bomber’, who he believes he has to do battle with to solidify his legacy.
“Yeah,” he said when asked if he wants to fight Wilder next.
“That would be the ideal fight for the fans, for myself and for my legacy. So yeah, why not? Nothing’s signed, nothing’s sealed. I don’t like to give people false news.
“But that’s the fight I want, that’s the fight we want and that’s the fight that should happen.”
Joshua is scheduled to make the next defence of his heavyweight titles at Wembley on April 13, while Wilder will defend his WBC crown against Tyson Fury on December 1, in the main event of a Showtime Pay-Per-View card from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.
Joshua is still willing to face his fellow Olympian even if Fury defies the odds and hands him his first professional loss, saying: “Yeah, [I want Wilder next]. Even if he lost I’d still fight him.”
Should Fury win, there is an immediate rematch clause that Wilder would likely exercise – and that would rule out either man fighting Joshua in April.