Deontay Wilder urges Anthony Joshua to embrace the heavyweight hype
Last Updated: 13/01/15 3:42pm
Deontay Wilder has urged Anthony Joshua to embrace the growing expectation as he attempts to become Britain’s next heavyweight world champion.
The American is fully aware of the hype that surrounds the top division and will be under the spotlight on Saturday night when he challenges Bermane Stiverne for the WBC title.
He has kept a watchful eye on Joshua, who has been tipped to succeed Britain's most recent heavyweight champion David Haye, and believes such speculation will spur on the 25-year-old.
“It’s still early in his career. I can’t really say that he’s going to do this or he’s going to do that,” Wilder told Sky Sports.
“The thing about the UK, I like how you guys - when you see potential in a guy - you automatically cling on to them and push them out as if he’s a world champion. That’s not a bad thing.
I like that, but there is something called pressure that can be applied to a person, to make them feel like they have to perform.
“I like that, but there is something called pressure that can be applied to a person, to make them feel like they have to perform. They have to fulfil that legacy that people have already built.”
Both fighters own Olympic medals, Wilder winning bronze at the 2008 Beijing Games while gold medallist Joshua was one of the stars of London 2012.
The Hertfordshire heavyweight has stopped all 10 of his opponents but trails behind the fearsome Wilder, who has blazed a path to the title by winning all 32 fights inside the distance.
It remains to be seen whether the two medallists will meet in the coming years, although Joshua has already earned praise from his potential rival.
“We’ll see in the future what he does," said Wilder. "Right now, he’s doing a great job. He’s winning and we’ll see how it goes.”