Wilder: Let’s not wait, Joshua

Deontay Wilder has insisted that he is “ready now” to fight Anthony Joshua, and pleaded with his rival not to delay a potential meeting.

Sky Sports revealed on Wednesday that talks to pit Joshua against Wilder in a world heavyweight championship unification fight would begin "this week".

WBC title-holder Wilder confirmed the negotiations but told IBF and WBA 'super' champion Joshua not to pursue other options before their proposed meeting.

"We have them in a corner and we are going to smoke them out, and make them fight us," Wilder told Sky Sports News.

"I don't want to hear about Joseph Parker. Everybody wants Wilder vs Joshua right now, why wait? Anything could happen to either of us, that's life. You'll make the people miss out on the biggest fight in the world.

"Anything I say, the response is from Eddie Hearn, not Joshua. My message is to Joshua: I am ready.

"Eddie is scared of this fight. He wanted me to fight Dillian Whyte instead of Joshua. I would have no problem fighting a peasant like Dillian Whyte but I want Joshua at the other end of the bridge, when I cross it.

"How long does it take him to get ready, physically and mentally? He'll need the time. I'm ready now.

"I just want to find out who is the best. I want to prove that I am the best. If people say Joshua is the best, I want him right now. I declare war.

"I talk my talk to walk my walk – I mean every word I say, and I say what I mean. I will knock Joshua out. Don't wait, make the date, mate."

Wilder is unbeaten in 39 after defending his WBC belt against Bermane Stiverne last weekend, a week after IBF champion Joshua extended his record to 20-0 by beating Carlos Takam. They have been 12 rounds just once combined; when Wilder won his world title in his first fight with Stiverne.

"Styles make fights," Wilder said. "I knew the Wladimir Klitschko-Joshua fight would be a great fight. My style and Joshua's style do not mix. My style is perfectly made for Joshua's style. I am the paper over his rock. I am the scissors over his paper. Don't be surprised if it is a simulation of my performance when I demolished Bermane Stiverne in the first round.

"I am master of my style. I have mastered what I can do in the ring. It's not what you do physically in the ring. What people don't understand is that my mind is very sharp. The style I bring to Joshua, you guys may not have seen before. It will be a great fight while it lasts."

Joshua claimed he would "eat" Wilder last weekend, according to Hearn, after posting a two-and-a-half stone weight advantage over his rival at their respective weigh-ins.

But Wilder hit back: "See my performance with [Stiverne] who was 255lbs? How heavy was Joshua in his last fight? 254lbs. Did you see how easy it was to put 255lbs on the ground?

"Let me show you what the greatest heavyweight in the world looks like.

"No more excuses. The location is the least of the problems.

"I've reigned the longest, I hit the hardest, I'm the toughest, I'm the meanest, I'm agile, I'm mobile, I'm hostile, I've got the heart of the lion. I am the king and, if I'm not, then please show me who is."