Anthony Joshua v Andy Ruiz Jr: Briton wants chat with Deontay Wilder to clear path for fight

Anthony Joshua
Joshua worked out for the public in south Manhattan on Tuesday
Joshua v Ruiz
Date: 2 June Time: Around 03:00 BST Venue: Madison Square Garden, New York
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live and a live text commentary on the BBC Sport website

Britain's Anthony Joshua wants a "man-to-man" meeting with Deontay Wilder to set up an undisputed world heavyweight title fight - if he beats Andy Ruiz Jr.

WBA, IBF and WBO champion Joshua, 29, takes on Ruiz in New York on Saturday.

On Tuesday night, WBC champion Wilder announced a rematch with Cuba's Luis Ortiz, delaying any contest with Joshua for now.

"I am going to reach out to Wilder to see if I can have a sit-down in person," Joshua told BBC Sport.

The Briton added: "What people say on camera is different to what people say eye to eye. So I have to sit down with him man-to-man and see where he's at."

Wilder has won 41 of his 42 fights, the other being a controversial draw with Britain's Tyson Fury in December.

He beat Ortiz via a 10th-round knockout in their first fight in March 2018 and announced their rematch on Twitter.

Former champion Fury has said his rematch with Wilder is "likely to happen in March or April".

Fury, Wilder and Joshua are signed to different US broadcasters which complicates potential meetings between the trio.

Deontay Wilder

Joshua wants reward for risk

Anthony Joshua

Joshua briefly worked out for the public in south Manhattan on Tuesday, firing at pads with trainer Rob McCracken.

Ruiz, who has faced scrutiny over his physique, looked sharp and fast, impressing BBC Radio 5 Live commentator Mike Costello, who will call the action in the early hours of Sunday morning at Madison Square Garden.

Ruiz, 29, is American-born but of Mexican heritage and appears to have benefited from back-to-back training camps, having fought as recently as 20 April.

Nevertheless, were he to win, the upset would rank among the greatest in the history of the heavyweight division.

Joshua added: "Fighting the Ruizes of the world is more dangerous than fighting the likes of Wilder. Why would I fight talent who has potential to beat me when I can just fight Wilder, who is talented but who has what I want?

"I'd rather take the Wilder opportunity. I don't want to keep fighting these guys, I want to get straight to the big fights."

A bout between IBF, WBO and WBA champion Joshua and WBC champion Wilder, 33, would see all four major belts unified at heavyweight for the first time.

Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn has called on his fighter to "dare" Wilder into taking him on and has declared his frustrations repeatedly with fruitless negotiations.

Hearn told BBC Sport: "Wilder is being talked into a plan by those around him that doesn't involve Joshua.

"The whole world stops for this fight; it's front page of newspapers. I want it, I want to gamble and it is a gamble. But is that not fun and what sport is all about?"

'Fast hands v big hitting' - Costello

Andy Ruiz

Ruiz peppered the pads for around 10 minutes and again appeared relaxed, answering requests for additional interviews at will.

Several media outlets present have pointed to Joshua finding early difficulty against a smaller opponent in Russia's Alexander Povetkin, 39, last time out before eventually stopping the 6ft 2in Russian.

Ruiz is listed at the same height and, while his physique has been criticised in some quarters, he showed speed and threw a high volume of combinations at Tuesday's workout.

"A lot of people underestimate me, the way I look, my appearance, but I'm going to pull out the upset," said Ruiz. "This is what I have worked for my whole life, I'm here to take what Anthony has. I'm ready to shock the world."

Costello added: "Andy Ruiz has got a body that you wouldn't describe as sculpted but it has worked for him in compiling a record of 32 wins and one defeat.

"As we saw in the workout, he has very fast hands. That could be a factor. Another factor: how will he react when he is hit harder than he has ever been hit before?"