Anthony Joshua questions whether Deontay Wilder is silently working on 'master plan' after defeat by Tyson Fury
"It would be really good to hear the reasons as to why and even better, I hope he does come back"
By Richard Damerell and Fraser Dainton
Last Updated: 20/10/20 5:01pm
Anthony Joshua "can't wait" for Deontay Wilder to break his silence and questioned whether the American is working on a "master plan" after defeat by Tyson Fury.
Wilder's next career move has been derailed following Fury's admission that a third fight will not happen, with the WBC heavyweight champion instead seeking an alternative opponent for a homecoming bout in December.
Joshua is preparing for his own world title defence against Kubrat Pulev at The O2 on December 12, live on Sky Sports Box Office, and understands why Wilder is yet to speak out as he previously came under intense scrutiny following his first professional loss to Andy Ruiz Jr last June.
"I don't know, so I can't speak on everyone's situation, but just from my humble opinion, after a loss, things change," Joshua told Sky Sports News.
"You distance yourself. The world is cruel. You've got to have a thick skin.
"Either he's putting together a master plan - he's in a lab right now, with his science glasses on, studying Fury's every move. Either he's doing that, or he's sitting at the edge of that lake, with his head in his hands and thinking, 'What's going on?'
"One minute you're on top of the world, and the next minute you're not. That's the name of the game we're in."
A number of theories about Wilder's seventh-round stoppage defeat have been aired, including outlandish claims about Fury's gloves, which were strenuously denied by the British fighter.
Wilder is yet to offer more insight after bizarrely suggesting that he had been weakened by his heavy ring walk costume before the fight.
Joshua said: "It's interesting as to say, 'Why he hasn't spoken?' But when he does speak, we'll soon find out. For me to make speculation as to why he hasn't spoken, I can't because only he knows.
"But I can't wait for him to address the reason why the fight isn't going to happen at the end of the year. What happened in the first fight? Why he lost.
"Was it the costume, was it the glove situation? It would be really good to hear the reasons as to why and even better, I hope he does come back, because he's a great asset to the heavyweight division, and like the Dillian situation, I would like to understand how he found the strength to pull himself up."
Who else could Fury fight?
Fury is expected to select a challenger from the WBC's top 15 for his return to Britain, although only a handful of contenders are currently available.
Oscar Rivas, the Canada-based Colombian, is one of the remaining heavyweights that would welcome a fight with Fury, according to his co-promoter Yvon Michel.
"Oscar is fit, available, ranked No 8 by the WBC and would gladly take the challenge," Michel told Sky Sports about Rivas, who shares a US-based promoter, Top Rank, with Fury.
"Oscar would be the best and the logical choice for Fury in his first title defence."
Otto Wallin is currently not among the WBC's highest-ranked fighters, but his promoter Dmitriy Salita has called for a rematch with Fury after the Swede emerged with credit from a battling points loss last September.
Salita told Sky Sports: "Otto called me as soon as he read about the possible fall out and said, 'Let's get the rematch, I am going to beat him!'
"Out of all the world-class opponents that Fury beat, including Wladimir Klitschko and Wilder, Otto landed more punches and did more damage in the ring than anyone else."
Former European champion Agit Kabayel, another Top Rank fighter, is also in contention for the Fury fight.