World Boxing Council (WBC) heavyweight champion America’s Deontay Wilder says Anthony Joshua, the British world heavyweight champion with Nigerian heritage, does not have the “confidence” to fight him.
Wilder will put his WBC belt on the line against Ortiz in New York on Saturday, before Joshua faces World Boxing Organisation (WBO) champion New Zealand’s Joseph Parker in a unification bout on 31 March.
Joshua holds the International Boxing Federation (IBF) and World Boxing Association (WBA0 titles.
“I don’t believe Hearn wants this fight at all,” Wilder told the BBC.
“Joshua is like a cow, Eddie Hearn is milking him for every dollar. There have been no negotiations at all, no deal has been offered. But the world wants to see me and Joshua get in the ring.
“I don’t think Joshua has enough confidence in himself to fight me. It’s all on them. If he really wants it, he can make it happen.
“I see the Parker v Joshua fight going into the later rounds. I like Parker’s movement.
“With Joshua’s big frame and being muscular, that’s OK to look the part but can he get out of the way of Parker’s punches and maintain his stamina holding all that?”
Responding to Wilders comments, Hearn tod the BBC: “We’re ready on this side of the pond.
“It’s the biggest fight in world boxing… and I always make the biggest fights possible.
“Deontay Wilder has tried to sell his whole fight on Anthony Joshua – he should worry about Luis Ortiz.
“Anthony will fight anyone and, as we have stated a thousand times, he wants to be the undisputed champion.
“If he beats Joseph Parker then he just needs one more belt. Wilder doesn’t have a promoter so is on a one-man salesman mission – get your head on Ortiz, let us deal with Parker then join us back in the real world and this fight will get made very quickly.”