Anthony Joshua v Andy Ruiz Jr: British heavyweight thinking of Deontay Wilder ahead of US debut

Anthony Joshua: The 29-year-old prepares for his US debut
Anthony Joshua: The 29-year-old prepares for his US debut

Deontay Wilder dominated Anthony Joshua's thoughts just three days before his IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight title defence against Andy Ruiz Jr on Saturday in New York.

The WBC champion announced this week - midway through the build-up to Joshua-Ruiz Jr and aware that Joshua had hoped to fight him next - that he is to have a rematch with Luis Ortiz.

Those plans further delay what would perhaps be the biggest fight that could be made anywhere on the planet, and for all four world heavyweight titles, potentially also undermining interest in Joshua's US debut at Madison Square Garden.

The 29-year-old Joshua remains a heavy favourite against Ruiz Jr, from Mexico, and he unusually revealed that he is already focusing on the wider picture that could follow Saturday night when he said: "I was looking to win so we could have our sit-down (to negotiate with Wilder).

"If it was me, and I rematched (Alexander) Povetkin next, I'd have had more pressure (from the public). He makes a decision that I am not able to make, but I try not to. How would people have dealt with me?

"Ortiz will be quicker to fight me (if he wins) than Wilder, so it's not a bad thing. It's coming close to a time when that WBC belt should change hands.

"Wilder is a good name in general. If he loses he doesn't go down the start line again. But the undisputed (fight) is not about Joshua v Wilder, it's about the undisputed.

"This build up hasn't been flat; it's been interesting. The speculation of what's next, (Tyson) Fury, Wilder, me in the middle.

"I don't mind where I fight. The UK is my home base and raised me. So there is loyalty there. But more recently I've been told as world champion you fight around the world."

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