Anthony Joshua told to fight underdog former champ who embarrassed him as Deontay Wilder fight hangs in balance

ANTHONY JOSHUA has been urged to pursue a trilogy fight with a former foe amid the uncertainty over his showdown with Deontay Wilder.

Negotiations over the pair’s long-overdue grudge match resumed after AJ sparked out short-notice replacement Robert Helenius last month.

PAAnthony Joshua is currently pursuing a showdown with Deontay Wilder[/caption]

The grudge match with The Bronze Bomber is on a knife edge after Saudi withdrew their interestGETTY

GETTYTony Bellew reckons Joshua should have a trilogy fight with two-time foe Andy Ruiz Jr[/caption]

The financial side of the deal has been agreed but a venue is frantically being sought for after Saudi boxing chiefs withdrew their interest.

Joshua, 33, will pursue an end-of-year return if his proposed January joust with Wilder – which has been over five years in the making – fails to come to fruition.

And fellow Brit Tony Bellew reckons he should face two-time opponent Andy Ruiz Jr in a tasty rubber match.

When asked who AJ should fight next, the former WBC cruiserweight champion told Carl Froch: “Andy Ruiz. I like that fight.”

Ruiz Jr shocked the world in June 2019 by spectacularly ending Joshua’s first reign as unified heavyweight champion on just five weeks’ notice.

The Californian knocked AJ down a staggering four times on his way to a seventh-round TKO victory, which saw him become Mexico‘s first heavyweight king.

His reign as champion, however, didn’t last long as a lean and mean Joshua comfortably outboxed him in their rematch six months later.

Joshua repeatedly rattled Ruiz’s dome with punishing right hands from range in their Saudi showdown, so much so that Bellew believes he’ll stop the American third time around.

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“I think he pulverises Ruiz this time,” The Bomber said.

“But I would like to have seen the Dillian Whyte fight, that would have been a very good fight.”

Bellew hopes a win over Ruiz Jr will put AJ on course for a Battle of Britain with current WBC heavyweight king Tyson Fury

He said: “But [Tyson] Fury, obviously, that’s the one I really want to see.

“It’s tough, the heavyweight division isn’t as deep as it should be – there are fringe contenders or you’re not very good.”

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