Wilder: Joshua Has Fought D-Level Competition
Deontay Wilder is sick of being mentioned alongside rising heavyweight Anthony Joshua. The undefeated WBC heavyweight champion believes that IBF champ Joshua is undeserving of the praise he garners, mostly due to a resume filled with mediocre opposition.
On Saturday, Joshua defends his IBF belt against Eric Molina in Manchester, England. The selection of Molina as Joshua’s opponent has been met with some criticism, as the American heavyweight is believed to be an easy matchup for Joshua. Wilder knows that better than anyone, as he knocked out Molina when the two met last year.
"When people say somebody’s better than me or whatever, that’s somebody’s opinion," Wilder said to BoxingScene.com. "But to me, in my opinion, Joshua has only fought D-level opposition. If Joshua was an American, he wouldn’t get praised like he do in England."
"Due to the fact that he’s from England and boxing is their second-nature sport, that’s why he gets so much praise from the people and from the fans. And I love it for him. I wish it was like that in America. But Joshua is not that known in America. And if he came to America and started his career, it definitely wouldn’t be the same."
Wilder, a bronze medalist at the 2008 Summer Olympics, ascended the heavyweight ladder more slowly than Joshua did. After thirty-two professional victories, the 31-year-old won the WBC heavyweight title when he defeated Bermane Stiverne in January of 2015. Since then he has defended the belt four times on the way to a 37-0 record.
Joshua, on the other hand, is only 17-0 and is already being pushed as one of the top heavyweights in the sport. If he can defeat Molina (and he hopes to do so in similarly impressive fashion as Wilder’s knockout win) then Joshua may be sharing the ring with Wilder somewhere down the road. Until then, Wilder remains unimpressed.