Anthony Joshua does not have confidence to fight me - Deontay Wilder

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Are you ready? Wilder's warning to heavyweights

Britain's Anthony Joshua is a "cash cow" being 'milked' by his promoter Eddie Hearn, says fellow world heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder.

WBC champion Wilder, 32, thinks Joshua - who has the IBF and WBA belts - does not have the "confidence" to fight him.

The American, who fights Luis Ortiz on Saturday, told the BBC: "I don't believe Hearn wants this fight at all."

Hearn responded: "It's the biggest fight in world boxing... and I always make the biggest fights possible."

Wilder will put his WBC belt on the line against Ortiz in New York, before Joshua meets WBO champion Joseph Parker in a unification bout on 31 March.

"We're ready on this side of the pond," said Wilder.

"Joshua is like a cow, Eddie Hearn is milking him for every dollar. There have been no negotiations at all, no deal has been offered. But the world wants to see me and Joshua get in the ring."

Hearn, also speaking to the BBC, said: "Deontay Wilder has tried to sell his whole fight on Anthony Joshua - he should worry about Luis Ortiz.

"Anthony will fight anyone and, as we have stated a thousand times, he wants to be the undisputed champion.

"If he beats Joseph Parker then he just needs one more belt. Wilder doesn't have a promoter so is on a one-man salesman mission - get your head on Ortiz, let us deal with Parker then join us back in the real world and this fight will get made very quickly."

'Joshua can make fight happen'

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Who's milking who? Wilder vs Hearn

Joshua, 28, will meet New Zealander Parker in Cardiff, with the winner then likely to face the undefeated Wilder.

No boxer has held all four heavyweight belts simultaneously.

In November, Joshua insisted he was not "ducking" any fighter, adding he would fight Wilder on "my terms".

"I don't think Joshua has enough confidence in himself to fight me," said Wilder. "It's all on them. If he really wants it, he can make it happen.

"I see the Parker v Joshua fight going into the later rounds. I like Parker's movement.

"With Joshua's big frame and being muscular, that's OK to look the part but can he get out of the way of Parker's punches and maintain his stamina holding all that?"

Doping a 'huge problem' in boxing

Wilder will finally face 38-year-old Ortiz in New York this weekend - four months after their original bout was postponed because the Cuban failed a drugs test.

Ortiz tested positive for the banned diuretics chlorothiazide and hydrochlorothiazide in September, but was cleared to fight Wilder after avoiding a ban.

The World Boxing Council found he took the drugs for high blood pressure, fining him $25,000 (£18,497) for failing to disclose he had taken them.

Ortiz, who is unbeaten in 27 fights, was previously banned for eight months after testing positive for the banned steroid nandrolone in 2014.

Wilder said: "Boxing isn't doing enough to address doping in the sport.

"I don't understand how a man can test positive, get suspended, and come back to the top of the division again. It's mind-boggling.

"I think they need to do something about it as somebody is going to get hurt. We are already risking our lives in the ring.

"How can you feel like you're a champion if you know you didn't do it by yourself?"

'We are risking our lives'

Scott Westgarth
Scott Westgarth was fighting in his 10th bout

Wilder says boxers know they are risking their lives when they get in the ring, after Britain's Scott Westgarth died in hospital following a light-heavyweight fight in Doncaster on Saturday.

The 31-year-old won the eliminator bout on points against Dec Spelman.

He appeared to be in pain during post-fight interviews, and was then taken to hospital after falling ill backstage.

"We never want see anybody die in the ring," said Wilder. "But we know that it's part of it, and a strong possibility.

"We are the only crazy people who sign up to do this to entertain people. We are risking our lives to have families.

"I say two prayers before I fight, one that I knock my opponent out, and one that I don't hurt him, so he can go back to his family."

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