WBC world heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder says fighting IBF and WBA title holder Anthony Joshua is his “ultimate goal”.
Wilder, 32, defends his title against Bermane Stiverne on 4 November, a week after Joshua faces Carlos Takam in Cardiff’s Principality Stadium.
Alabama-born Wilder believes Joshua should be ready for the unification bout after beating Wladimir Klitschko.
He said: “He has already fought a guy that got way more experience than I.”
“The ultimate goal is to get Joshua,” Wilder told reporters via conference call. “I don’t see what’s the difference between me and any other guy.”
Wilder’s promoter Lou DiBella has criticised Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn for talking down his fighter.
Hearn has stated he would never agree to a 50-50 split of the purse for a proposed bout and also claims to have offered Wilder $3m (£2.26m) to face Britain’s Dillian Whyte in London on 3 February, a fight he feels could potentially enhance Wilder’s profile in the UK market.
Wilder is convinced his rivals are avoiding him and says his frustrations have led to him thinking he may be “better off not being in the sport”.
“I don’t understand this sport when it comes to me,” added Wilder. “I just want to prove to the world I am the best. That’s all I want to do.”
But Hearn has recently stated that assuming Joshua overcomes Takam, he has a three-fight plan for 2018 which would include bouts with Wilder and the heavyweight division’s other champion – WBO title holder Joseph Parker.
‘We have to deliver’
Joshua – unbeaten in 19 fights – deflected questions about future opponents after working out in front of hundreds of fans at Cardiff’s St David’s Hall on Wednesday.
He kept his workout light in contrast to 36-year-old Takam. The Cameroon-born fighter took the fight as a late replacement for the injured Kubrat Pulev and worked for around 30 minutes in front of fans, sweating heavily as his pad session wore on.
Takam has lost three times in 39 fights but has only been stopped once by the highly-rated Alexander Povetkin.
At 6ft 1in, some five inches shorter than the champion, Takam will represent a different challenge to Klitschko but Joshua says he will change “nothing” about the style he deployed in his thrilling Wembley Stadium win.
“That’s why everyone is here – because they want to see fights like that again,” said Joshua.
“We’re going to have a war, we’re going to wear our hearts on our sleeve.
“When people come to see me box, they know they are going to see knockouts and a bit of blood, and a bit of respect after.
“We have to deliver. Let’s just deliver on Saturday night and we will look forward to a promising 2018.”