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29th Mar 2018

Deontay Wilder explains why he won’t be ringside this weekend, blames Anthony Joshua

Most expected to see him in Cardiff

Darragh Murphy

Anthony Joshua doesn’t strike us as the restraining order type.

Joshua is more than capable of looking after himself which makes the claims of Deontay Wilder all the more startling to hear.

Wilder will have a keen eye on the outcome of Saturday night’s monster heavyweight showdown between Joshua and WBO champion Joseph Parker.

Either ‘AJ’ or Parker will move one step closer to unifying the entire division with a victory in Cardiff this weekend and that will make the prospect of a clash with Wilder, the WBC title-holder, all the more tantalising.

Many expected Wilder to be ringside at the Principality Stadium for Saturday’s fight but ‘The Bronze Bomber’ has confirmed that he will not be travelling to Wales to confront the winner and he’s blamed Joshua for the decision.

“Unfortunately I’m not going to be there,” Wilder said on ThaBoxingVoice Podcast.

“When I got hired by Sky Sports, I told them I would come and be a part of the party under one circumstance: If Joshua wins, I will get in the ring with him, look him in his eyes face to face and tell him that I wanna knock him out.

“They told me that wouldn’t be a problem. A few days later I get a phone call with my manager telling me I won’t be able to do that. Joshua’s been talking that he doesn’t want me in the ring, talking about having extra security. I even heard something about a restraining order!

“Eddie Hearn’s always talking about me being the only one to raise my profile. What better way to hype this ultimate unification bout? It’s free advertising. That was my whole reason to come over.”

Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn has a different view on matters and claims that the decision to stay away from the stadium is Wilder’s own.

Speaking to iFL TV earlier this week, Hearn criticised Wilder for rejecting the gilt-edged opportunity to hype up potential clashes with Joshua and Dillian Whyte.

“I’ve been told he’s not coming,” Hearn said.

“The entire epicentre of heavyweight boxing is in Cardiff on Saturday. How bad do you think he wants the fight if he don’t come? Don’t give me all that, ‘All I want to do is unify the division’. Come [to Cardiff]. You’re getting paid. You’ve got a lovely hotel room. It’s not like it’s a chore. This is your job, but he don’t want it. He don’t want to get mixed up with Dillian.

“This is bullshit. He’s happy fighting these geezers. I cannot believe he won’t come. First, he was saying a lot about getting in the ring. The board won’t let anyone into the ring after the fight to do interviews.

“I don’t know if all of a sudden, he’s realised that Dillian is coming as well. Dillian will be breathing down his neck.

“But who is advising these people? Can you imagine how much attention Deontay Wilder will get in Cardiff this week? More than he’s had in his last 10 fights put together.

“Are you a joke? Don’t talk about those fights if you have no intention of taking them. You’ve got two fighters [Joshua and Whyte] that will take his belt.”