Deontay Wilder has taken credit for Andy Ruiz Jr's shock win over Anthony Joshua in 2019. The Brit was beaten by the Mexican underdog just two weeks after Wilder, who takes on Tyson Fury on February 22 in Las Vegas, destroyed Dominic Breazeale in one, an opponent whom Joshua needed seven rounds to get the better of in 2016.
Losing his WBA, IBF and WBO in the Madison Square Garden bout was a huge blow for AJ, and, despite avenging the June loss six months later, his record of domination has been dented. Wilder has been quick to pounce, insisting that his stunning win over Breazeale got into Joshua’s head before his big fight.
“When I knocked Breazeale out, Joshua wanted me to do it later than him but when I did that in one, that threw him off against Ruiz,” he told the media at a press conference ahead of his bout with Fury. “So Ruiz should probably come and thank me because the whole world is looking at me and what I'm going to do with these knockouts. When Joshua saw that, it changed his mindset.”
Having discussed a possible bout with AJ for the last three years, it has failed to materialise and it seems Wilder is no fan of his fellow heavyweight. “Just a straight coward,” Wilder said of his rival. “I just think coward, and that's it."
While Joshua’s camp insists Wilder has refused a match-up, he will be taking on Fury in just over a week and speaks much more glowingly about him than AJ. “Fury's a funny guy,” he said. “He's a skilful fighter, good fighter. In my opinion he's a breath of fresh air.
"Being in the heavyweight division, being able to have great fights with a person that can help me promote a fight, because I've come up and so many guys don't talk, or they don't want to say what they want to do, or hype the crowd. It's always been me promoting."
This one is going ahead, and we can’t wait.