Deontay Wilder has dismissed Anthony Joshua's assertion that Tyson Fury is his biggest threat and branded himself the "most dangerous" fighter in the heavyweight division ahead of his hotly-anticipated bout with Luis Ortiz.
Wilder, who will embark on what is perceived to be the toughest test of his career when he meets undefeated Cuban Ortiz in New York on Saturday [3 March], has told of his desire to face Joshua in the ring incessantly over the past few months, but 'AJ's' promoter Eddie Hearn recently questioned the American's intent to arrange a fight with the WBA (Super), IBF and IBO champion.
A fight between Joshua and Fury seems a more realistic prospect despite the latter's issues over the past two years. Hearn has spoken of the possibility of sorting out a meeting between the British duo if 'The Gypsy King' is willing to listen, and Joshua believes the former RING magazine title holder is the biggest menace to him as he bids to reign supreme over the heavyweight division.
But Wilder, who is keen to come to an agreement with Joshua and fight him while he is at the peak of his powers, believes his British adversary is kidding himself if he thinks Fury is his biggest threat and is itching for an opportunity to show just how "dangerous" he is in the ring.
'The Bronze Bomber' boasts a 39-0 record but the opponents he has come up against have left a lot to be desired, with his last fight against the ageing and inactive Bermane Stiverne doing little to enhance his reputation.
"If the people around Joshua really cared about him and loved him, I think someone should've tapped him on the shoulder and whispered in his ear to tell him he's got it all wrong," Wilder told Sky Sports. "Everyone knows that Tyson Fury isn't the biggest threat in the heavyweight division.
"Everyone knows who is the man in the heavyweight division, hands down. Everybody knows who has the power to beat anyone at any given time, in the first round or 15 seconds into the 12th round. I have that ability to do anything I want. I am the most dangerous man in the division, hands down. There hasn't been anyone I have fought that I haven't knocked out.
"So if he [Joshua] says that, and he needs to keep that in his mind to feel confident because we know this fight will happen. If that gives him the confidence he needs to try and beat me, he is entitled to his own opinion.
"But I think the fact remains: I am the most dangerous man in the heavyweight division. I can't wait to prove it. I need the opportunity to show it to these guys and if I do, it's on."