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Joshua vs Povetkin: Anthony Joshua says Deontay Wilder is his ‘No 1’ target

12:55 am, 23rd September 2018

Joshua came through an exciting defence of his IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles by stopping Alexander Povetkin in seven rounds on Saturday night at the national stadium, and attention immediately turned to his return on April 13 when he hopes to lure Wilder.

Talks to agree Joshua vs Wilder have, so far, come to nothing and the WBC champion from America is now set to defend his title against Tyson Fury in December.

“I got my knockout streak back,” Joshua said after beating Povetkin. “I found my right hand which had gone missing for a while. It’s lining up for April 13.

“April 13 is what I’m really interested in.

“My No 1 would be Wilder. That’s it. Let me not talk about No 2 or No 3.

“Wilder, that’s it.”

Asked who would win between Wilder and Fury, Joshua replied: “I’m not too fussed who wins, I only concentrate on myself. Good luck to both of them. May the champion bring himself to the UK and let’s have a good dust-up.”

Promoter Eddie Hearn had previously been in protracted negotiations with Wilder’s representatives to agree a bout that would pit unbeaten champions against each other to decide one undisputed king.

Hearn said: “They agreed a deal, we signed the contract, they didn’t, so we had to take a mandatory challenge.

“If they don’t want to fight, they don’t want to fight.

“Joshua is not an Instagram world champion, he is a real world champion.

“We’ll try again with Team Wilder to make the fight. Let’s see if Wilder-Fury actually happens.”

Dillian Whyte, who was beaten by Joshua in December 2015 but has since risen to the brink of his first world title shot, is the next in line should Wilder fail to materialise.

“Dillian is a serious fighter and I want serious challenges,” Joshua said, “We have respect for each other, fighter to fighter. We’re both beasts, we’re both lions in the jungle.”

Hearn added: “If it’s not Wilder, Whyte would be next. But our focus is on Joshua being the undisputed champion of the world.”