Former world heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder has revealed that he wants to fight Anthony Joshua before facing Tyson Fury for a third time with the hope of redemption. The American enjoyed a five-year spell as the WBC title holder but saw his reign unceremoniously cut short by Fury in February last year, with the ‘Gypsy King’ overpowering and outclassing Wilder to bring the belt back across the Atlantic.
Since the 35-year-old’s defeat, speculation has been rife over whether a third fight would be made in order to offer Wilder another shot at the self-proclaimed lineal heavyweight king.
It was understood that the Alabama native could mandate a trilogy bout under a clause in their previous contract, but this now looks unlikely to take place any time soon with Fury close to an agreement to face Joshua in a blockbuster unification fight later this year.
However, despite Wilder’s setbacks, he is keen to redeem himself by taking on both men in the near future.
After a year-long period of inactivity, he is entertaining the prospect of a warm-up fight against Joshua or one-time champion Andy Ruiz Jr before turning his attention back towards Fury.
“Without naming the obvious, that people obviously know [Fury], I’d love to fight guys I haven’t fought,” Wilder told Marcus Watson on Instagram Live.
“You know, the ones at the top who I haven’t fought, haven’t got my hands on, that’s what I want.
“I know that’s kinda lame a little bit, to not name a name, but anyone I ain’t faced at the top, I’m talking about you.”
When asked if he would like to face Joshua or Ruiz Jr, the American added: “Yeah. Any fighter that’s at the top that people haven’t seen me fight and people strongly want to see me fight, that’s who I want to fight.
“I can sit here and name names all day, that’s the easy part. I’m just gonna go to the top, if it’s someone I ain’t fought, that’s who I want to fight.
“I want to clean the division out. People think I’m gone or I’ve stopped boxing. I haven’t.”
Wilder remains convinced that he was cheated out of last year’s title scrap with Fury, having made a number of excuses to justify his poor performance since the seventh-round knockout defeat.
A heavy pre-fight costume and water allegedly contaminated with muscle relaxants have been blamed, with the former champion also claiming that Fury’s team inserted weights into his gloves prior to the bout.
His excuses have mostly fallen on deaf ears within the boxing world, with Fury’s promoter Bob Arum recently comparing the big hitter to Donald Trump as a result of the pair’s shared tactic of clutching at straws in the face of defeat.
“Deontay Wilder has been spoiled by our former president Donald Trump who says you can say any lie, or any preposterous thing and maybe some people believe it,” Arum told Fight Night on Saturday.
“In Trump’s case, they believed it and stormed the capital. Deontay Wilder, again, irresponsible what he’s saying, totally.
“Whether it’s about Tyson Fury, Mark Breland [Wilder’s former trainer] – a tremendous guy – Deontay Wilder is not making any sense.
“But hey, if the former president who served for four years doesn’t make sense, I mean, Deontay Wilder is just another Trumpian.”