Deontay Wilder has claimed Antony Joshua and his team ‘did everything’ to avoid facing off with him in 2018.
Joshua and Wilder held several months of negotiations over a possible fight to crown the undisputed heavyweight champion four years ago, but never reached an agreement and Wilder eventually entered a trilogy with Tyson Fury.
Speaking to ES News via The Mirror, Wilder said Joshua’s team ‘didn’t want to make the fight before’ because ‘everybody picked’ him to win.
‘Boxing is a business and I’m here to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. I have no reason to lie in this gladiator sport but some people are choosing not to believe what I say when I tell the truth,’ said the 36-year-old.
‘Everybody picked me to beat Joshua and that’s the reason why they [Joshua’s team] didn’t want to make the fight before, that was the reason why they took me on a six-month rollercoaster, because they did everything to avoid the fight. They did not want to fight.’
Wilder is understood to have considered retirement after losing twice to Fury, but will step back into the ring for the first time since October last year when he faces Robert Helenius at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center on October 15.
The American’s rivalry with Joshua could be resurrected if he is to win, with the direction of Joshua’s career unclear after consecutive defeats to Oleksandr Usyk.
Wilder himself has no clear direction, and claimed the once much-anticipated bout could eventually happen.
‘Fast forward years and now we’re seeing it,’ he said.
‘We’ll see, because we ain’t b***********. I hate talking about those guys because they put a bad taste in my mouth every time. These promoters, managers and s*** like that get in the way of big fights happening because of their greed.’
Joshua is expected to take some time away from boxing after breaking down following his split decision defeat to Usyk, but could come to an agreement to face Wilder when he returns.