Joshua slams Wilder for ‘dragging my name through the mud’ after American admits to rejecting fight offer

Joshua has traded words with Wilder for several years despite the two never having met in the ring
Joshua has traded words with Wilder for several years despite the two never having met in the ring (PA)
14:05pm, Wed 04 Nov 2020
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Anthony Joshua has hit out at Deontay Wilder for dragging his name 'through the mud’ after the American admitted he was offered a fight with the Brit, despite previously denying it.

For several years Wilder has accused Joshua of avoiding a fight with him, a clash which would have seen all four heavyweight title belts on the line.

But at the weekend the Alabama fighter broke his recent silence to call out Tyson Fury for a trilogy bout following his loss to The Gypsy King back in February.

And within the tweets to the Brit, Wilder also claimed he turned down more money from Joshua in order to take a second bout with Fury following their draw in 2018.

He said: "When you were going through your darkest time, I told you that if you got yourself together I would give you a title shot. Being a man of my word, I gave you the title shot.

"When that fight was a draw, I told you that I would give you a rematch. You know I was offered more money to fight Joshua than I was getting to fight you. Again being a man of my word, I fought you like I said I would."

Wilder had repeatedly accused Joshua of ducking him prior to his comments on Twitter last weekend (Zuma Press/PA Images)

Now, after several years of accusations that Joshua was evading Wilder, the two-time world heavyweight champion believes people have finally seen what has really been going on.

"It makes the ultimate sense," Joshua told Sky Sports. "It's hard because at the time when people are talking and you see lots of media stuff, you start to believe what that person is saying.

"When time goes by, naturally the truth will always reveal itself. I get a lot of stick but I take it with a pinch of salt.

"He admitted it. We made him a lucrative offer but he wanted to face Fury. So be it. If that's what he wanted to do, fine.

"But he dragged my name through the mud. While Wilder was trying to make me look like a bad person, that I didn't want to enhance the sport, or fight certain fighters, I just had to roll with the punches.

"He has come out and said it himself. We offered him a really good deal but he wanted to fight Fury. People can take it how they want, and see what the truth is now."

Wilder was dominated by Fury in Las Vegas nine months ago (PA)

Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn responded to Wilder on Saturday night with a sarcastic tweet saying: "I thought AJ ducked you?"

Joshua is set to face Kubrat Pulev on December 12 in London, while Fury takes on an unnamed opponent seven days earlier.

Meanwhile, it is not yet known when Wilder will return to the ring as Fury’s promoter Bob Arum has claimed the rematch clause for a trilogy fight has now expired.

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