Los Angeles - World champion Deontay Wilder said on Thursday the winner of his showdown with Tyson Fury can lay claim to being the best heavyweight in boxing.
WBC champion Wilder faces off against Britain's Fury at the Staples Centre in Los Angeles on December 1 in a battle of undefeated fighters.
The winner of the fight could advance to a showdown with Anthony Joshua, the IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight champion who is also unbeaten.
While many observers believe Joshua is the best heavyweight in the division, Wilder is adamant that the 2012 Olympic champion does not even deserve to be ranked in the top three.
Wilder, (40-0 with 39 knockouts), instead believes that he and Fury, along with Cuba's Luis Ortiz, are superior to Joshua.
"In my true, honest opinion I feel whoever wins this can call themselves the best heavyweight champion of the world," Wilder told reporters on a conference call on Thursday.
Wilder, 33, accused Joshua of ducking the challenge of fighting him.
Cat-and-mouse negotiations between the two camps fell through earlier this year before Wilder opted to face Fury.
"We don't have to keep going over this over and over again about Anthony Joshua," Wilder said. "They had their opportunity. They had their chance to prove and see whether (Joshua) was the goods, or whether he was spoiled milk.
"And they didn't want to accept because they already know what I possess and what I'm able to do. And they know that he's not on my level."
Wilder meanwhile was unimpressed by Fury's recent decision to add veteran US trainer Freddie Roach into his corner.
Roach, one of boxing's most famous trainers who guided Manny Pacquiao through the Filipino's biggest fights, is to work as a cut man for Fury, who has recently shifted his pre-fight training to Roach's Wild Card gym in the heart of Hollywood.
Wilder however questioned how much influence Roach would have on the contest.
"It doesn't matter what trainer he brings in - they can't fight for him," Wilder said.
"They can give him instructions, they can motivate him. But there's only one man when you get in that ring. It ain't no team thing when you're in the ring. It's just me and him.
"Everything he's been taught and learnt it's going to go out the window."