IBF, IBO, WBA, WBO champion Anthony Joshua is getting a lot of pressure from fans, who want him to face WBC champion Deontay Wilder.
Instead, Joshua is taking on WBA mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin on September 22nd at Wembley in London.
“Let them train to be a fighter and fight Wilder,” Joshua told AP. “It’s easy talking about it. It’s another thing doing.”
In June, the World Boxing Association ordered Joshua to fight Povetkin (34-1, 24 KOs) or have his title stripped away.
Joshua felt the right move for his career, at the moment, was the Povetkin contest.
“This career isn’t determined by what people want,” Joshua said. “It’s my career. I’ve always pulled for and done what was right for myself, which has ultimately led me to becoming a champion.”
Joshua says his motivation in boxing is not to make as much money as possible and walk away.
“It’s not about the big light,” Joshua said. “It’s not about taking from the industry. I don’t want to drive a Rolls-Royce tomorrow. I don’t want a one-hit fight wonder, then I’m a champion one week and few months later I’ve lost it because I’m living the life. I want to add to the industry, give back. I do it because I’m passionate about it.”
Wilder accepted a flat fee of 15 million and offered Joshua a guaranteed $50 million, plus 50 percent of the revenue if the fight took place in the U.S. Joshua wanted England. Wilder agreed.
More negotiations took place. Each side says something different transpired — Wilder said Joshua sent blank contracts missing a date or place; Joshua said Wilder didn’t meet the deadline. There was also a disputed rematch clause.
Wilder's return is now scheduled for fall, but the opponent has yet to be determined. He may face his WBC mandatory, which is currently Dominic Breazeale.