By Chris McKenna, courtesy of The Daily Star
DEONTAY WILDER has labelled Anthony Joshua a coward ahead of his heavyweight showdown with Tyson Fury.
The WBC heavyweight champion goaded the WBA, IBF, IBO and WBO title holder as he prepares to face Fury at Staples Center in LA in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Wilder, 33, wanted to face Joshua this year but the pair’s teams failed to agree on a deal so he instead opted to face Fury.
He said: “The AJ fight is up to them, they have to stop being cowards, we are moving on from him.”
Fury must give the American another crack if he upsets the odds.
But Wilder says he could give Fury a rematch even if he wins this weekend’s clash as he criticised Joshua for not risking his unbeaten record against him.
He added: “If it’s a great fight and fans want to see the rematch then why not? Why not give a great fighter another opportunity?
“I will probably end up giving him a second opportunity before any of these so-called best give him even one opportunity, because they are worried about their clean records.
“Holding on to an undefeated record is not what makes this sport great.”
Fury’s promoter Frank Warren reckons the winner in LA deserves to be seen as the best heavyweight on the planet.
“Whoever wins between Fury and Wilder, they are the No 1,” said Warren. “Anthony Joshua is in the slipstream.”
Warren is confident of a Fury win as he has already beaten a better fighter in Wladimir Klitschko.
Fury dethroned Klitschko as the king of the division three years ago when he claimed the WBO, WBA and IBF titles.
Warren added: “If you look at the fighters that Klitschko had beaten compared to who Wilder has beaten, there is no contest.
“The big question mark is how has this time out of the ring affected him? If he is 80 per cent of what he was, he beats this guy.”