By Keith Idec
Anthony Joshua joked Friday that he was going to follow Deontay Wilder’s lead by making emotional statements on social media when Kubrat Pulev pulled out of their fight Monday.
“When I heard Pulev pulled out, I was gonna do the same thing,” a laughing Joshua said during a conference call. “I thought that’s what the champions are doing these days.”
Joshua referred to the videos Wilder posted on his Instagram page once Cuban contender Luis Ortiz tested positive for banned substances and ruined their fight for Wilder’s WBC heavyweight title, which was scheduled for November 4. Wilder also questioned why he has to fight his mandatory challenger, Bermane Stiverne, in a rematch when he already has soundly defeated the former WBC champion.
“I find it funny,” Joshua said. “I just find it funny. It’s like Twitter fingers now. Like, deal with your business behind closed doors. Ortiz failed a drug test – so be it. You move on to the next fight. You know what I mean? Ortiz comes off his ban, you box him up then. No need to cry about it and start telling the whole world, ‘No one wants to fight me!’
“Of course he wants to fight you. You’re the champion. You’re the hunted. You just need to stop thinking that way and stop feeling sorry for himself, you know, and just crack on. Don’t show no weakness in this game. This is heavyweight boxing. This ain’t featherweight boxing.”
The 28-year-old Joshua (19-0, 19 KOs) will face Cameroon’s Carlos Takam (35-3-1, 27 KOs) on October 28 at Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales. Takam, ranked No. 3, was the IBF’s next leading available contender once Pulev withdrew due to a shoulder injury.
The following Saturday, Wilder (38-0, 37 KOs), of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and Las Vegas’ Stiverne (25-2-1, 21 KOs) will fight again at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.