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05th Dec 2017

Deontay Wilder’s demand for Anthony Joshua fight may get in the way of it taking place

Putting his foot down

Darragh Murphy

Anthony Joshua is undeniably the biggest name in the heavyweight division but there are still belts he has yet to claim.

‘AJ’ is hoping to get the chance to add both the WBC and WBO straps to his collection with clashes against both Deontay Wilder and Joseph Parker in 2018.

The order of those bouts has yet to be confirmed, although it seems more likely that Parker will be first up for Joshua given the facts that negotiations have progressed further with the Kiwi’s camp.

Wilder would probably represent the more high-profile fight for the Brit of the two as ‘The Bronze Bomber’ has a bigger name and more established reputation in the United States but the American’s demands over the purse split might stand in the way of that fight coming to fruition.

While Parker won’t budge on a minimum split of 65-35 in favour of Joshua, Wilder is far more ambitious and wants to earn exactly the same as ‘AJ’ for their unification bout.

“It is a great fight, it is one of the biggest fights in the world and everyone wants it. It will be 50-50 or else we don’t see a fight,” Wilder told ESPN.

“If they want to use splits, not to make a fight happen, then so be it. It is not like I am asking for more, I’m saying this is a 50-50 fight and that’s how it is. In the rematch, then we can talk about 60-40 splits or whatever. That is more acceptable.”

Joshua has no shortage of potential opponents for the coming calendar year. Added to the Wilder and Parker opportunities is the much-anticipated all-British showdown with the returning Tyson Fury.

Fury will likely be last in line as he will almost certainly require a pair of warm-up fights in the coming months, although he is solely focused on the payday that will accompany a meeting with Joshua.

The same can be said for Parker, who has wasted no time in getting the war of words underway.

But, as for Wilder, he is not going to put himself out and push for the Joshua fight if that’s not what the London 2012 gold medallist wants.

“I don’t think they are trying to make a negotiation at this point,” Wilder said. “I think they are trying to seek Parker. They got him on his agenda. [He is] their top priority which is fine. If they don’t want to fight at this time, that it is ok.

“We’re not [going to] chase [anybody]. I’m not chasing Joshua. If Joshua [doesn’t] want to fight, then that’s fine. If they want to have one fight apiece, and fight me next, that is fine.”