Anthony Joshua won't fall into Deontay Wilder's 'trap', says Eddie Hearn
By Richard Damerell
Last Updated: 04/09/19 3:39pm
Anthony Joshua will not fall into Deontay Wilder's 'trap' after a fresh challenge from the WBC champion ahead of the Andy Ruiz Jr rematch, says Eddie Hearn.
Joshua and Ruiz have flown out to Saudi Arabia for today's first press conference ahead of their second world heavyweight title fight in Diriyah on December 7, live on Sky Sports Box Office.
But Wilder has this week attempted to seize the spotlight in the top division, insisting he wants the Ruiz Jr-Joshua winner and not an expected rematch with Tyson Fury, a statement which is not being treated seriously by the British star's promoter.
"Let me tell you about Deontay Wilder, and actually right now there's no point us talking about Deontay Wilder, because the focus is Andy Ruiz," Hearn told Sky Sports.
"Right now the position that we had, was the position in my opinion of dominance in the division, no longer exists, so we can't be calling out Wilder and this or that. The focus is Ruiz but isn't it interesting that when on fight week Joshua-Ruiz, at the end of May, Deontay Wilder announced that he was fighting Luis Ortiz on Joshua fight week.
We're not going to fall into that trap again. Forget Deontay Wilder, let him go and box Tyson Fury.
"We are now at the beginning of September, there is no fight, there is no venue, there is no date. He hasn't talked about Anthony Joshua probably since that moment. Joshua-Ruiz II media week what happens?
"Deontay Wilder pops up and says 'Oh, I want to fight Anthony Joshua and unify instead of Tyson Fury.' Why didn't you want to do it when Joshua had the belts?
"For the last nearly two years, every question going into an AJ fight was 'when are you going to fight Wilder? Oh Ruiz, don't worry about Ruiz, when's the Wilder fight?' He fell into that trap before.
"We're not going to fall into that trap again. Forget Deontay Wilder, let him go and box Tyson Fury. The biggest fight in the heavyweight division is Joshua-Ruiz, that's the focus."
Speaking on 'Untold Truth', Joshua told Sky Sports about how talk of an undisputed fight proved a distraction ahead of his June defeat to Ruiz Jr in New York.
"It was like I was coming to the end of my road already, worrying about undisputed," said Joshua.
"That undisputed stuff? It was right in front of me but it was one of the biggest curses lingering over my head when I was champion."
Hearn revealed that Alexander Povetkin and Britain's Liam Smith could feature on the undercard.
"I think a couple of heavyweight fights," said Hearn. "Out here, they're very excited by the prospect of big heavyweight fights on the card.
"I think Povetkin is a guy they would like to see out here. I would like to see a couple of world championship fights as well.
"Liam Smith against Jessie Vargas is a fight that I'm looking at for this card as well."
Follow Sky Sports digital platforms for full coverage of the Saudi Arabia press conference on Wednesday.