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Deontay Wilder says Anthony Joshua’s promoters don’t want to lose their ‘cash cow’

LONDON – Former world heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder said the main reason he has not fought Anthony Joshua yet is that the British boxer’s promoters are afraid of losing their “cash cow”.

The pair will fight separate opponents on the same bill at a mega-show in Riyadh on Dec 23, with former WBC (World Boxing Council) title holder Wilder taking on Joseph Parker and Joshua, the former WBA (World Boxing Association), IBF (International Boxing Federation) and WBO (World Boxing Organisation) champion, facing Otto Wallin.

Wilder and Joshua could fight each other in 2024 if both win at the weekend, but while previous negotiations between the two camps reportedly broke down due to financial issues, the American said that was not the case.

“Money hasn’t been the issue,” the 38-year-old told BBC Sport.

“It comes with not having the heart, the will, the courage to step in the ring. I don’t want to say he’s 100 per cent afraid, but I think he’s 75 per cent.

“I don’t really just blame it on Joshua. I blame it on his handlers, on his promotion and his management.

“Because let’s face it, Joshua is the cash cow of the company.

“Without him, no money is drawn into Matchroom. Not only do I feel Joshua is intimidated of me, but I feel his promoter is as well.

“That’s why the fight hasn’t happened.”

Joshua, 34, said he is focused on the bigger picture and is eyeing the IBF title first if he beats Wallin.

The BBC reported that he has two potential options if he defeats the 33-year-old, either face Wilder or have a shot at the IBF belt against Filip Hrgovic.

“I would love to fight for the IBF, and love to fight Deontay Wilder. Either are really good options,” Joshua said.

“Of course, I want to become champion. I’m focused on my opponent and focused on the bigger picture.

“The championship is worth much more to me, that’s special, becoming three-time champion in the world. Then I’d defend it against Wilder.”

Wilder, though, is still hopeful of a fight against the Briton.

He added: “We’ll see what happens. The future is bright and we are further (in talks) than we’ve ever been in history. I can say that with certainty.” REUTERS

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