By Keith Idec
Deontay Wilder won’t write off Anthony Joshua after only one loss.
The unbeaten WBC heavyweight champion contends that his dethroned rival can resurrect his career following a devastating defeat to Andy Ruiz Jr. two months ago. Wilder reiterated as part of a new interview with GQ that Joshua “quit” during the seventh and final round of his technical-knockout loss to Ruiz on June 1 at Madison Square Garden, yet Wilder also emphasized that Joshua’s critics shouldn’t give up on the British superstar.
“For me, he quit,” Wilder said in a story that appeared on GQ’s website Tuesday. “He gave up. He was looking for a way out, because he didn’t have no answer for Ruiz. They overlooked him, and he had a lot of pressure coming here to America. This is the Mecca of boxing here, in America. All the money is here in America. And they overlooked it, because they was on their high horse, with what they was doing in England. But it ain’t over for him. Just because he lost one time, that doesn’t mean it’s over. A lot of people think it’s be-all, end-all when you lose. But that’s not the case. That’s how you become …”
Wilder was interrupted before he could complete that thought to remind him that he remains undefeated.
“Yeah, but I don’t dwell on the undefeated record,” Wilder explained. “You know what I mean? Because the biggest task is when you fall, how you get up. Sometimes standing on top could be easy. You can maneuver your way around, stand on top. Guys do it. Sometimes guys fight just once a year. For me, it’s not so much about my undefeated record. I love it, but I don’t praise it. I give people the facts: 41-0, 40 knockouts. And I’ve defended [the WBC title] nine times. I’m in with the greats now. You know what I mean? I’m up there with the greats.
“But for me, it’s all about my accomplishment in the sport. That’s the beauty of being undefeated, the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world, and I won’t stop until I do that. The last one that did it was Holyfield. No, Lennox Lewis, I think. And I won’t stop until I get that. I want to accomplish that. I want to remake history, and that’s my ultimate goal in boxing. We’ve been marinating. It took me almost 11 years. It will be 11 years in November [since I turned pro].”
The 33-year-old Wilder’s next fight will be a rematch with Luis Ortiz (31-1, 26 KOs, 2 NC), which could take place November 23 in Las Vegas. Ruiz (33-1, 22 KOs) and Joshua (22-1, 21 KOs) also are headed for an immediate rematch, set for December 7 in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.