ANTHONY JOSHUA has been accused of “ducking” a grudge match against Deontay Wilder.
AJ is aiming to bounce back after two crushing defeats to Oleksandr Usyk with a new trainer.
Despite looking a lot more aggressive than in his first loss, Joshua opted to replace the renowned Robert Garcia after that bout.
Hearn confirmed this week that the boxing star has chosen a new man to lead his training camp, which will begin in America next week.
And he says that his fighter is heading Stateside as “he can’t breathe” in the UK.
Both the trainer and Joshua’s opponent have yet to be confirmed, although it is widely-believed Gerard Washington will be the man he climbs into the ring with on April 1.
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The 40-year-old heavyweight – who was knocked out by Wilder in 2017 – is on the joint-worst run of his career following back-to-back TKO losses to Charles Martin and Ali Eren Demirezen.
But his trainer Malik Scott, who is also the head trainer of the Bronze Bomber, is adamant that the veteran is “ready” for AJ, although he insists that the Brit has dodged his top fighter.
He told Best Sports Betting Canada: “At one time it looked like we’re getting ready to get a Deontay-AJ fight made, then you hear AJ and his team want to do other things.
“It seems like he’s ducking all my heavyweights.
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“You have got to fight one of my heavyweights, man, we’re waiting on you over here.
“You’re ducking Deontay Wilder, Gerald Washington is ready to fight right now, in top condition, mentally and spiritually and physically.”
Malik, who added that Wilder could be ready to face Andy Ruiz Jr in a WBC title eliminator as early as March, continued: “Gerald Washington is one of the leading names to possibly fight Anthony Joshua.
“It’s not a rumour, it’s an actual fact that he’s one of the options. And it’s something Gerald is ready for.
“I keep telling people, Gerald is a big, strong, heavy handed guy.
“The physicalities are there, but what we’ve been working on is mental stamina. And fighting at the highest level, that’s more important than the physical.
“Gerald is better than ever, he’s hungrier than ever, and I can’t wait for you guys to see him. And I can’t wait to see him under the lights myself.
“I’m very optimistic the fight will get made, especially at this point with the move they’re trying to do for AJ, that’s what makes me optimistic about it because I know the mission they’re on with AJ. And that’s not the mission I’m on for Deontay and AJ.”
Wilder returned to the ring after successive defeats to Tyson Fury by delivering a stunning first round knock out to Robert Helenius back in October.
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