Anthony Joshua's potential opponents are becoming increasingly vocal following Saturday's stoppage win over Carlos Takam, with Deontay Wilder "declaring war" upon the Briton while Joseph Parker has called AJ "robotic."
Wilder has held the WBC heavyweight belt since 2015 and has suggested he'd be willing to fight Dillian Whyte—whom Joshua knocked out in the same year to become British champion—in order to get his desired foe, per MailOnline's Adam Shergold:
"I declare war. I am declaring war upon AJ. I will not chase him.
"We are going to lure you in, you can only run for so long and so far.
"Hearn (Eddie, Joshua's promoter) can say what he wants. Let me help you. You want Whyte and I want Joshua. Put them in a package and let me fight.
"I will knock out Whyte easy. I could do it with one hand tied behind my back."
"The Bronze Bomber" has successfully defended his WBC heavyweight title on five occasions and will look to add a sixth to his tally when he faces Canadian Bermane Stiverne at New York's Barclays Center on Saturday.
Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic was in Cardiff to watch Joshua's 10th-round stoppage of Takam at the Principality Stadium, and he told iFL TV Wilder is the opponent he'd like to see the Briton face next:
But New Zealander Parker would be the more logical step, as tensions have been building around a British-American clash between Joshua and Wilder.
The 25-year-old WBO heavyweight champion watched Joshua defend his IBF, WBA and IBO world titles before unleashing criticism upon AJ for his performance, per The Sun's Lee Astley and Stuart Atkins:
“I’ve said it many times, I’d love to fight Joshua so I can show what I’ve got.
“He’s good – he’s big, strong and learning, but I think he’s just average, he’s robotic.
“The jab he was throwing was very slow. He steps up all the time but I don’t think he looked that impressive. There wasn’t a lot of movement."
Parker questioned what damage Takam might have done had he had a full camp to prepare, rather than stepping in as a replacement for mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev on 12 days' notice.
Boxing writer Danny Flexen offered an alternative scenario in which Joshua may not be required to fight both men in order to unify the heavyweight belts:
Wilder, 32, has been a known quantity in the boxing arena for going on a decade now, having won bronze at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, whereas Parker is still regarded as something of a prospect to watch.
It's possible neither fighter will encounter Joshua in 2018 as the powers that be look to build anticipation around those fights, although both Parker and Wilder are doing their bit to go about setting a date early.