Anthony Joshua has reiterated that Deontay Wilder is his main objective so Dillian Whyte will have to wait for a rematch.
IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight champion Joshua will defend his belts against Andy Ruiz Jr on June 1, and wants to agree an undisputed title fight against WBC holder Wilder.
“I’m not looking at Dillian anymore, I’m looking at Wilder, because he’s got the belt,” Joshua told Sky Sports.
Whyte was in the running to become Joshua’s next opponent and avenge the only loss of his career, sustained in late-2015 with the British title on the line.
After knocking out Derek Chisora last December, Whyte was considered as a challenger for Joshua’s world titles but couldn’t agree a deal. Whyte will instead fight the unbeaten Oscar Rivas on July 20, live on Sky Sports Box Office.
“Dillian Whyte had his opportunity to fight me April 13,” Joshua said.
“Dillian had a chance to fight for the titles, he felt it was a low-ball offer, he wants to build his value and compete against Rivas.
“It’s a tough fight, it’s a very tough fight, but providing Dillian comes through, it [accelerates] him onto the next stage of where he’s trying to get to and that’s becoming heavyweight champion of the world.”
The stakes were raised for Joshua’s upcoming title defence when Wilder knocked out Dominic Breazeale inside a round last weekend.
Wilder then said about fighting Joshua: “It’s going to happen, it will happen. I believe in all my heart it will happen. I don’t want this to be a Lennox [Lewis] and [Riddick] Bowe situation, I definitely don’t.
“The heavyweight division is so lit right now, it’s on fire right now. I think it is our obligation, our duty to give the fans what they want.”
Promoter Eddie Hearn added: “The fight with AJ and Wilder is the biggest fight in the sport and all being well [with Joshua vs Ruiz Jr] it must happen next – no excuses, this is the fight that will change the sport globally.
“It’s a legacy fight and AJ wants it so bad. Two big, fast, dangerous and fearless world heavyweight world champions that can turn the lights out with a blink of the eye – it’s a must.”