Joshua frustrated with lack of top opponents
IBF, IBO, WBA, WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua is frustrated with his inability to secure fights with some of the top names in the heavyweight division.
Joshua was scheduled to face Jarrell Miller on June 1 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Miller fell out after failing three pre-fight drug tests.
After Miller was dropped, a deal was eventually reached with Andy Ruiz.
Joshua tried to secure bouts with WBC champion Deontay Wilder, Luis Ortiz, Tyson Fury and Dillian Whyte in recent months – but he was unable to reach a deal with any of the four.
“We’re playing the Game of Thrones but I don’t know why and I don’t know what’s happening and it’s the fans that are missing out,” Joshua said to The Sun.
“I just don’t understand what more we can make out of it because we have made lucrative offers to fight these guys. I have what they want. And the people outside are looking at it and saying ‘This is your chance, take it’.
“Wilder made an offer to us but it was from Wilder, not from the broadcaster or his promotional outfit. We made an offer to Fury. He didn’t want a percentage fee, he wanted a flat fee but it would still have been a higher percentage in terms of the pot. We made an offer to Dillian Whyte, we made an offer to Luis Ortiz and he took far less to fight Wilder. So I look at it and think ‘What difference is it going to make to these guys?’ Are they just going to say they want more or is it not about the dough.”
Joshua is aligned with streaming service DAZN and Sky Sports in the UK. Fury is backed by ESPN and BT Sport in the UK. And Wilder is under the Premier Boxing Champions banner, who have deals with Showtime, Fox Sports and ITV.
The network affiliations have created a clear problem in making fights between the three top fighters in the division.
“We’re all trying to be the leader of the world. Why don’t the best fight the best? Broadcasters want to build up their fighter before they sling them in so they can make a return on their investment,” Joshua said.