After WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder made quick work of Bermane Stiverne, he voiced his intentions for WBA, IBF and IBO champion Anthony Joshua loud and clear.
“I declare war upon you,” Wilder (39-0, 38 KOs) said in the ring Saturday at Barclays Center. “Do you accept my challenge?”
Wilder, the Alabama native who knocked down Stiverne (25-3-1, 21 KOs) three times en route to a first-round knockout, has not shied away from discussing a potential unification bout with the Briton in pursuit of the undisputed heavyweight crown. “The Bronze Bomber” insists he’d be willing to travel into enemy territory to make it happen, a statement supported by previous plans to fight Alexander Povetkin in Russia before Povetkin was caught taking a banned substance.
“I’ve been waiting for a long time,” he said. “I know I’m the champion, I know I’m the best. Are you up for the test?”
Joshua, who moved to 20-0 with a win on Oct. 28, and promoter Eddie Hearn have said Wilder, who in Brooklyn knocked out the only man to take him the distance, is in their plans for 2018, along with former champion Tyson Fury and WBO champion Joseph Parker.
But while Wilder’s top priority is unification, he made it clear Saturday he won’t sit around forever and will take on any opponent who’s willing to fight him. Eventually, according to Wilder, Joshua will have no choice but to put his belts on the line against the United States’ most exciting heavyweight in years.
“Joshua, come and see me, baby,” Wilder said. “No more dodging, no more dodging, no more excuses. Make the date, don’t wait.”