Former two-time heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua believes a fight with Deontay Wilder will happen before the two big punchers retire from the sport.

When the two boxers were unbeaten world champions, they were unable to reach an agreement that satisfied both sides.

Joshua, who held the IBF, IBO, WBA, WBO titles, is looking to return to the ring in early 2023. The British star is looking to recover after suffering back to back decision losses to Oleksandr Usyk.

The frontrunner to face Joshua next is domestic rival Dillian Whyte.

Wilder, a former WBC world champion, returned to the ring in October with a brutal one-punch knockout of Robert Helenius. 

At the moment Wilder's return timeline is unknown, but he was recently ordered to face former unified champion Andy Ruiz in a final WBC eliminator.

Because the two of them are still major players at the weight, Joshua expects a fight with Wilder to eventually take place.

“All this ‘what else is missing’, let’s look to the future,” Joshua told GQ’s official YouTube channel.

“That was the past, why it didn’t happen. It will definitely happen, I always say ‘we’re in the same division, we’re in the same era, that means the fight has to happen’.

“2023 is looming, it’s a big year for boxing. We’re all at the top of our division and that fight will definitely happen and bring a lot of light to the heavyweight division.”

Joshua's promoter, Eddie Hearn, has been in contact with Wilder's co-manager, Shelly Finkel. The two have had positive interactions regarding the fight.

“Our offer to Deontay Wilder would be ‘here’s an amount of money, if we have to work with cross-networks, we have no problem looking at that’. Anthony Joshua is exclusive to DAZN, we can look at a dual broadcast, we can look at just making you an offer and contractually you can just accept it, I don’t know," Hearn told Fight Hub TV.

“These fighters also have to look out for themselves and take on opportunities. If fights can’t be made in one way, they should look in another way. Contractually sometimes that’s difficult but if it’s not difficult you have to look at that.”