Deontay Wilder ‘always thought’ he could defeat Anthony Joshua ahead of planned fight this year, says Audley Harrison

Anthony Joshua can regain a world heavyweight title if he still has the same “hunger”, but a proposed fight against Deontay Wilder is a threatening prospect, says Audley Harrison.

Joshua was unable to regain the WBA, IBF and WBO belts when he suffered a rematch defeat to Oleksandr Usyk last year, but the 33-year-old remains in contention for a world title shot after returning with an unanimous decision win over Jermaine Franklin in April.

“You know, he’s [Joshua] made so much money, and I heard him do an interview saying he’s in it for the money,” Harrison told Sky Sports.

Audley Harrison
Audley Harrison claimed the Olympic gold medal and the European heavyweight title

“At this stage, when you’ve made that much money, the only thing keeping you going is the glory isn’t it? We don’t wake up for the money, we wake up for the glory.

“That’s what got him to the Olympics and to fight for world titles. The money is just a side thing.

“So if he’s lost that hunger to chase the glory, it will be hard, because he needs to be thinking of defining his legacy by turning back that loss. That needs to be his goal and what his drive should be.

“He can’t think about needing to prove people wrong. You can’t do it for the critics, you have to do it for yourself. hey [Joshua] has to. He has to want to get back to the top and win a world title for him.

“I think he can if he really wants to do it for him. If he thinks of his legacy and wanting to be a Hall of Famer. He has to go back to that. He can’t do it for money, he’s got enough money already.

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“His motivation has to be: ‘I want greatness for myself,’ and ‘I want to undo the damage and get revenge on that guy.’ That’s all it has to be about.

“When Lennox [Lewis] lost to Hasim Rahman, all he cared about was revenge. As fighters, that’s all you need to back you, revenge.”

A long-awaited fight against Wilder could feature in Joshua’s future plans, with reports suggesting that the big-punching duo could finally collide in Saudi Arabia at the end of the year.

“Wilder is definitely a dangerous fighter for AJ, because he’s made enough money and is just coming back for legacy building,” Harrison told Sky Sports.

“That’s a big fight. And in Deontay’s mind, he can beat AJ. He’s always thought he could beat AJ, just like he always thought he could beat Tyson [Fury]but Tyson proved him wrong.

“So I think he’d go into the fight with the same attitude. He won’t have lost anything from his last fights. Against AJ, he’d start with that mentality, and start fresh.

Deontay Wilder
Will Deontay Wilder feature in Joshua’s future plans?

“Technically and fundamentally, Wilder does everything wrong. But he does it right if you get what I’m trying to say.

“If it works for you, it does. Technically he doesn’t put his foot in the right place, but he’s figured out how to make it work for him. You can’t teach it.

“When he throws that hammer, and I had him in sparring before, he’s awkward, fast, dangerous, and he’s got that dog mentality. He wants to fight.”