The British heavyweight finally confirmed he will face the Swedish star in Saudi Arabia on December 23, headlining a mega event alongside the likes of Deontay Wilder, Joseph Parker and Dmitry Bivol – but he did not take kindly to being asked a question by a member of Warren’s team.
Warren’s Queensberry promotional company – who represent Joshua’s rival Tyson Fury – are spearheading the event over Eddie Hearn‘s Matchroom Boxing firm. That forced Joshua’s promoter to take a back seat as Queensbury’s main PR Sahni orchestrated the press conference.
But as Sahni attempted to speculate on Joshua facing Jarrell Miller after the pair exchanged heated words, Joshua snapped back: ‘You’re not my promoter to judge me on my career.’
Sahni then asked AJ about his upcoming fight, but the Watford-born star was having none of it and urged Hearn to pose him the questions instead.
Anthony Joshua refused to answer a question from Frank Warren’s PR Dev Sahni (R) at the press conference for his fight against Otto Wallin next month
Joshua instead insisted that his promoter Eddie Hearn should ask him the questions
‘Why isn’t Eddie asking me questions. You’re my promoter.’
Hearn then proceeded to take over the questioning to take over to cap off an awkward exchange.
Joshua later said how Wallin was the next step on his journey of becoming a three-time world champion.
‘People who are talking about “I peaked” have never seen a peak,’ he said.
‘My first stop to getting to be three time champion is putting in a demolishing against [Otto].’
‘I’m fully focused on this fight, I’m determined to win, and I’m determined to get back to my peak, if that’s what they want to call it’.
Joshua will take on Swedish fighter Wallin on December 23 – headlining a mega undercard
The glitzy event will also see American heavyweight Deontay Wilder take on Joseph Parker (R)
Joshua beat Wallin twice as an amateur, but it will be a different equation as a professional.
Wallin, whose only defeat in 27 fights came as he lost on points against Fury in 2019, revealed the fight against Joshua was arranged in a week.
‘We got the call one week ago,’ he said.
‘It was an easy fight to make for us. I didn’t expect to fight one more this year, but this is amazing.
‘I’m so ready for it, I’ve been waiting for it for a long time!
Joshua vowed to ‘demolish’ Otto – who he beat twice as an amateur – as he bids to become a three-time world champion
‘Now he [Joshua] is on his way down, and I’m going to help him with that’.
There was disappointment from some fans that Joshua was not facing Wilder – despite both men appearing on the same card.
Mail Sport spoke exclusively to Wilder, who claimed Joshua had turned down £40m to fight him.
Asked by Mail Sport why he is not fighting Joshua next, Wilder said: ‘He asked for $50million (£40m) and we provided that for him and he did not take it.
‘And the only way you can disregard that is to make a mockery of it, try to make a joke of it, try to make it seem to the public that it’s not real.’
Joshua (left) has been accused by Wilder of turning down $50m to fight him this year
Wilder, however, does not solely blame Joshua for the fight not being made yet. Rather he pointed the finger at Joshua’s promoters Matchroom. ‘It’s a deflection,’ he said.
‘It’s an ‘oh s*** moment’. They came up with $50m. That’s why they don’t have Joshua speaking a lot on his own behalf and if he does speak he always slips up and says things that are not appealing to his people. And they have to play clean up.
‘It’s his management that have held him back from fighting me because, you know, he’s a fighter. It’s been over six years (waiting for the fight to be made). But there comes a point in time we’re you’re like, ‘Forget it’.
‘Many times he wanted to fight, he wanted to accept it but his handlers didn’t want it because Joshua is the money-maker for the company. And if he goes down, so does the business.’