Anthony Joshua reveals he had secret meeting with Deontay Wilder before American blew their £100million fight series

ANTHONY JOSHUA met up with Deontay Wilder just days before their lucrative two-fight series went up in a plume of Saudi smoke.

The long-time rivals were on course to take part in back-to-back Riyadh rumbles worth £100million this year before their respective clashes with Otto Wallin and Joseph Parker last December.

Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder were set to have back-to-back Saudi showdowns this year
Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder were set to have back-to-back Saudi showdowns this yearCredit: Reuters
Wilder blew their £100million two-fight series by losing to Joseph Parker
Wilder blew their £100million two-fight series by losing to Joseph ParkerCredit: GETTY
Joshua has revealed the pair met during the Day of Reckoning fight week to finalise the bouts
Joshua has revealed the pair met during the Day of Reckoning fight week to finalise the boutsCredit: PA

But former WBC heavyweight champion Wilder failed to do his part to finalise the long-overdue showdowns, turning in a lacklustre display on his way to suffering a points defeat to Parker.

Boxing fans around the world were left disappointed that the fight they’ve been longing for is now seemingly gone forever, but none more than AJ.

He told Sky Sports: “[It was] annoying in a way because in fight week we met up, we spoke to lawyers, we signed contracts, all that good stuff.

“It’s a fight that fans want to see.”

However, despite Wilder now having lost three of his last four, Joshua is still willing to share the ring with the Bronze Bomber.

The former two-time unified champion said: “I’m not saying it’s completely written off.

“It’s a fight where everything was signed and sealed. It just needed both of us to deliver.

“And he didn’t meet his end of the bargain.”

Joshua, 34, returns to the ring next Friday for a crossover clash with former UFC heavyweight king Francis Ngannou.

Ngannou shocked the world in his boxing debut last October by cutting and dropping Tyson Fury, who eked out a points win in their Saudi showdown.

But AJ insists he won’t make the same mistake The Gyspy King did and underestimate the MMA man mountain.

He said: “If Tyson underestimated Ngannou, I sure won’t.

“Francis has lost the element of surprise with me.

“We knew Francis had a reputation as the biggest puncher in the world but the surprise was how well he boxed.

“He was exceptional on the inside and made life very complicated for Tyson.

“So much so that I do belong to the opinion that he beat Fury.

Anthony Joshua reveals he had secret meeting with Deontay Wilder before American blew their £100million fight series | The Sun

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