Deontay Wilder says Anthony Joshua 'don't wanna fight me ... plain and clear,' Ruiz fight in works
Former heavyweight boxing champion and Tuscaloosa native Deontay Wilder confirmed that his next fight with Andy Ruiz Jr is in the works while sharing his thoughts on fellow heavyweight Anthony Joshua in an interview with ESPNEWS.
As for Wilder's next fight, it is reported that he will face off against Andy Ruiz Jr. sometime this summer, but the date is unknown, per ESPN's Mike Coppinger. Wilder said a location needs to also be settled upon.
"The biggest thing for me and Andy, it's just location, I got a lot of meetings with a lot of different people," Wilder said. "It's coming, I want to fight Andy, I hope he wants to fight me."
A Wilder-Ruiz fight has been ordered by the World Boxing Council as a final title eliminator for the belt currently held by Tyson Fury. Wilder (43-2-1, 42 KOs) is coming off a first-round knockout over Robert Helenius last October. Wilder is the former WBC heavyweight champion, making 10 successful defenses of the title. Ruiz (35-2, 22 KOs) has held the WBA, IBF, IBO and WBO titles after defeating Joshua.
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Joshua won those titles back in a rematch with Joshua but subsequently lost them to Oleksandr Usyk.
Wilder claims Joshua doesn't want to fight him.
"Joshua don't wanna fight me, it's plain and clear. I don't know why people keep asking about that," Wilder said, "…Everybody should've known when the $50 million was offered to him ... and he didn't take it. They should have known then that something fishy was about him. Even moving forwards, Joshua don't want to fight."
Joshua's next fight will be against Jermaine Franklin, according to boxingscene.com. It will take place in London on April 1. Joshua (24-3, 22 KOs) hasn't fought since losing back-to-back fights with Usyk, the most recent coming last August.
Wilder, 37, has previously said he will fight until he is 40 but was unclear how many more fights he would take.
This article originally appeared on The Tuscaloosa News: Deontay Wilder: Anthony Joshua doesn't want to fight, eyes Andy Ruiz