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Deontay Wilder says Anthony Joshua fight ‘closest it’s ever been’

Boxing star Deontay Wilder

Deontay Wilder says his potential fight with Anthony Joshua has never been closer to being agreed, claiming the bout will be the biggest in the world should it finally take place next year.

Talks over a meeting between Wilder and Joshua have taken place on multiple occasions in recent years, but it appears the bout may finally get the green light in 2024.

The two men will box on the same bill on Saturday in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, with Wilder facing Joseph Parker before Joshua takes on Otto Wallin.

The fighters held all four major heavyweight titles between them when their representatives first held talks over a meeting in 2018, and after several false dawns, Wilder is hopeful they will step into the ring in the new year.

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“That’s the biggest fight in the world,” Wilder told Sky Sports. “Now the moment has come where it’s the closest that it’s ever been in history right now. The closest that it’s ever been.

“I’m excited to say that. I’m not 100 per cent sure that it’s going to happen. There’s a lot of things that have gone on, a lot of things that have been done.

“You can’t be 100 per cent until that bell rings and that first punch has been thrown.”

Wilder claimed earlier this week that Joshua does not “have the heart” to fight him, and he maintains his belief that the Brit is less keen on the bout than he is.

“That fight, it’s a situation where it’s been hot and cold and every time talks happened, it always got back hot and then somehow it would die back down, it doesn’t happen,” Wilder said.

“If I said I wasn’t frustrated, I would be lying. It definitely has been a frustrating time and moment for me.

“In my eyes you’ve got one fighter that really, really wants it and then on the other side you’ve got another fighter that doesn’t want it equally as bad as the other.”

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