Anthony Joshua has backed Deontay Wilder to return following his February loss to Tyson Fury and insists he could be a forging a “master plan” to dethrone the Brit.
Wilder was stopped in seven rounds by Fury in Las Vegas, as his long reign as WBC champion came to a dramatic end and a third fight with Fury appears to be off the cards for December, with the ‘Gypsy King’ searching for a new opponent, amid a UK homecoming.
Joshua, who was stopped himself by Andy Ruiz Jr in New York in June 2019, bounced back to become a two-time heavyweight world champion with a shutout win in Saudi Arabia in December and has empathy with the ‘Bronze Bomber,’ believing he could be putting together a cunning method to win back his title.
“I don’t know, so I can’t speak on everyone’s situation, but just from my humble opinion, after a loss, things change,” Joshua told Sky Sports News.
“You distance yourself. The world is cruel. You’ve got to have a thick skin.
“Either he’s putting together a master plan – he’s in a lab right now, with his science glasses on, studying Fury’s every move.
“Either he’s doing that, or he’s sitting at the edge of that lake, with his head in his hands and thinking, ‘What’s going on?’
“One minute you’re on top of the world, and the next minute you’re not. That’s the name of the game we’re in.”
Wilder said in the aftermath of his defeat that his 40lbs ring walk costume weakened his legs and contributed to his defeat, whilst his brother Marsellos alleged that Fury caused a dent in the side of his head by an object in his gloves, which Fury has since denied.
Joshua, who was linked with an undisputed fight with Wilder in 2018, when both were world champion, would not be drawn on speculation, however has backed the 34-year-old to mount a comeback on the division.
“Was it the costume, was it the glove situation?” the 31-year-old added.
“It would be really good to hear the reasons as to why and even better, I hope he does come back, because he’s a great asset to the heavyweight division, and like the Dillian [Whyte] situation, I would like to understand how he found the strength to pull himself up.”
Joshua is preparing to defend his unified heavyweight world titles against Kubrat Pulev in a rescheduled clash on December 12, over a year on from his victory against Ruiz Jr.
The Londoner has a two-fight deal in place with Fury for 2021, but admits he cannot afford to overlook the Bulgarian former world title challenger and is aiming to put in a devastating display.
“I had my little slip-up last year,” Joshua explained.
“We’ve brushed it off and we’ve got the belts back and now I’m going to go out there and get back on the gravy train and fight the likes of Fury 100 percent.
“But without getting past Kubrat Pulev, who is a serious competitor and challenger, there aren’t no talks of Tyson Fury and stuff like that.
“It’s a tough game I’m in, because as I said it’s the pot of gold at the end of rainbow, but before that I’ve got to navigate my way through and Pulev is a big old heavyweight standing in the way of that pot of gold.
“I’m still very hungry and disciplined, so I want to steamroll through him.”