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Wilder Speaks To BTG: “One Champion, one face, one name: and his name is Deontay Wilder!”

“There’s going be one Champion, one face, one name: and his name is Deontay Wilder!”

WBC World Heavyweight Champion Deontay ‘The Bronze Bomber’ Wilder (38-0-0, 37 KO’s) recently spoke with Michelle Joy Phelps of Behind The Gloves regarding the state of the current Heavyweight division, as well as addressing potential clashes with Luis Ortiz and IBF/WBA ‘Super’ World Heavyweight Champion Anthony Joshua…


American Wilder captured the WBC World Heavyweight title with a dominant decision win over Bermane Stiverne in January 2015. (AP Photo/John Locher)


MJP: “Wladimir Klitschko recently announced his retirement. What are your thoughts on that?”

DW: “Like I said before: he had everyone guessing what he was going to do. Whether he was going to retire or not. I felt that if he retired, it makes him look good going out on top. It’s good to see the former Champions end their career on top. A lot of guys feel like they can still keep going because as a fighter you build a mentality of “I can still do this” – it’s a different feeling. A lot of people don’t understand that mentality you have as a fighter. But if he would have fought on and lost again, I felt it would’ve harmed his legacy a little bit. As you can see, many of our [former] Champions have continued to fight and lost. People will only remember the last fight you have. No matter what you do in life, they only remember the last thing. So I think it was a good idea for him to do so [retire].”

MJP: “Do you think the outcome would have been the same if he had taken the rematch with Anthony Joshua?”

DW: “I’m not really sure. He [Klitschko] did a wonderful job the first time. In two different times in the fight: he had the fight won. I had him up on the scorecards myself [at the time of the stoppage] but there was two different times where he could’ve got the fight over with, and he didn’t push on the gas. For that reason, we don’t know. A lot of people say yes, a lot of people say no. In my opinion? I really don’t know. But again, I think he made the right decision. He’s definitely a ‘Hall of Famer’ so he’ll go down in history. Now he can start having more time with his family, his kids and stuff like that. He’s going to enjoy his life even more now.”

MJP: “There was a bit of an issue with the WBC: They ordered you to rematch Bermane Stiverne, but you wanted to go ahead and try and move forward with a fight with Luis Ortiz. Now the WBA have ordered Joshua to face Ortiz where does that leave you and Ortiz?”

DW:We’re still moving forward. Like I said, no peer pressure. We’re still moving forward. I was just putting out the idea: ‘Hey, it was going to be a megafight on November 11 in Vegas [Joshua vs Klitschko II] and we can still keep that date in Vegas. Let’s do it. The world is screaming for it [Joshua vs Wilder]. I get messages all the time and after a while it’s going to get to the point where it’s in high demand, especially when I’m finished doing what I’m doing, as soon as everything is done and we’re able to announce what’s going on. So we’re still moving forward, and with the Stiverne thing? I’m not really worried about Stiverne. I really think Stiverne needs to fight someone else. After two years, only fighting one time and being dropped by a guy named Derrick Rossy. A lot of my people who were there that I know and they said Stiverne lost too, but it was given to him. I don’t think that’s enough to come back in the ring and fight somebody like me that’s been active. This has been my longest lay-off, but I’m still more active than him [Stiverne]. I still care about fighters. I care about their health and what state boxing can put it in. Especially when you’re dealing with a killer like me. I’m definitely that guy. I am the hardest-hitting Heavyweight in the division. I’m not going to say ‘one of them’ – I’ve got great confidence that I am the hardest-hitting Heavyweight in the division. Stiverne trying to fight me after what I did to him in the first one [fight], putting him in the hospital for several days, gave him a concussion and him pissing blood and him almost losing his life. That’s something serious that should be taken into consideration. We’re going to fight, of course. We’re on the verge of fighting, but I just want him to get more time. I really do. I think that the WBC made a mistake in automatically making him a mandatory after that Povetkin ordeal. I think they really made a mistake and I think they should correct it, because things have got to go on. Things have got to push forward. Nobody wants to see that fight. He’s got this ill will towards me, that he’s just trying to prove himself, but he’s just fighting his own demons, because he knew from the first fight. He claimed that he was ready, but he was really scared and when I got in the ring, I beat the shit out of him. He’s just facing his demons because he talked all of that stuff. When you’re a fighter and you talk so much and you can’t back up what you say, it kind of haunts you a little bit because you wasn’t a man of your word. I think he’s dealing with that and he’s battling with himself, and for that he just needs to pump the breaks and sit back and re-evaluate himself and try and get somebody under his belt before coming to me: because once that fight happens with me and him ‘Oh, boy!’ – That’s all I can say!”


Wilder has been linked with a clash with another unbeaten Heavyweight in the shape of Cuban Luis ‘King Kong’ Ortiz.


MJP: “Eddie Hearn spoke this morning and he said that he didn’t think a fight between you and Joshua could happen next considering that he [Joshua] has two mandatories standing in front of you. Do you think that fight is going to happen anytime soon? Or is it going to be a Manny Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather type situation?”

DW: “It’s definitely not going to be nowhere near a Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao. If that does ever occur, it will be on their behalf and not ours. I have openly stated who I want and I have been calling out these Champions. A lot of people are giving me a hard time about people I’ve fought and stuff like that, but without being real with themselves. They’ve gotta be real with themselves and look at the Heavyweight division overall and say: ‘Who fought who?” – if I haven’t fought nobody, ain’t nobody fought nobody. Fury beat Klitschko, he didn’t get the praise. Joshua’s just now fought Klitschko. Even before then they were still giving him [Joshua] praise and I don’t understand that. I don’t understand that at all. The only thing I do understand is: I’ve been the one that’s been chosen for people to hate on. Which is fine. It’s okay, I accept that responsibility. Because for every black man in America it’s always been hard. No black man that’s been in boxing – or anything – has been praised, and that’s facts. Even back in the day, there’s always been hatred and stuff like that. But I’m the one to accept that responsibility with open arms, so when I do what I said I’m going to do then the laughs are going to be on all of the faces that doubted me. So I can’t wait for the opportunity. I can’t wait for that time to happen. We’re just chilling and relaxing and we’re just going to do what we do. We ain’t going to pressure nothing. Just like I told them: if they want it, they can come to us. We’re not going to keep saying this and saying that. We’re just going to let it go with the flow and after a while it’s going to be in high demand. Then it’s going to happen and we’re going to really see who the man in the division is: and I know for sure who the man in the division is. There’s going to be one Champion, one face, one name: and his name is Deontay Wilder.”

MJP: “Do you think that because you’re 6 foot-seven? You really are big and solid. Because you are as big as you are, it isn’t every day that you’re going to meet somebody of your size, and when you fight you make it look really easy. Do you think that’s because of the size advantage, that people from the outside looking in it looks like ‘Oh, that wasn’t much competition’?”

DW:Well, I’m not the biggest. Most of the guys are 6 5”, 6 6”, 6 7”. My height does play as an advantage, the length of my arm does play as an advantage, but if I’m not able to capitalise on all of the things that I have – training hard and being able to understand what I’m doing in the ring, with the IQ that I have in the ring – then all of that goes out of the window. It’s not advantage unless you know how to use it. Just because you’re tall and powerful, that really doesn’t mean nothing. Height and size doesn’t mean a thing really. It’s just a mental thing that people put in their head, like: “Oh, he’s tall” or “he’s long” or “I ain’t got no chance”. In life, you can’t go on worrying about what you have or what you don’t have. You’ve just gotta step up and accept the consequences and do the best you can. And with me: I’m ready. I want to unify. That’s my main thing. I hear a lot of these other guys that try to become Champions and stuff. Okay, that’s easy. I was going that when I was a prospect too: that’s what you’re supposed to do. But as a Champion, I’m calling out other Champions and they are ignoring me, because they know. They know I’m just confident. I’m a guy that’s super confident in my ability and my skills and what I’m able to do. A lot of people can say what they want, they can look on the outside looking in. But at the end of the day, when a fighter steps in the ring it’s a different world when you get in there with me. Many fighters have said it. Many fighters have expressed it themselves. The ones that will tell the truth, will let you know what the deal is. Most of the guys that I have fought, after they fought me, they’ve had little success afterwards because of what I’ve done. Especially the ones that I’ve knocked out crazy: like Szpilka. Szpilka will never be the same. Bermane Stiverne will never be the same fighter. That’s just what it is. I’m just confident. I’m just super confident in what I say I’m going to do. That’s why I talk a lot of sh*t, because I want to back it up. I want to talk so much to the point where I must back it up. It’s going to be if I fail, I lose everything. I want to put myself in that position, because I’m confident. That’s all you need when you’re dealing with combat and war. You’ve gotta be confident in what you’re able to do and go and do what you say you’re going to do: and Deontay Wilder is ready to prove that to the world. I’m ready to bring all of the belts back to America, and put America back on top. But at the same time, I’m going to need America’s help to. In this country we’re too modest, we’re too polite when we’re dealing with other countries and things like that. In America: Americans bash Americans. In other countries, they are for their people. I never understood that. Because if I was from another country, that country would be mine. I would be the man of that country. But being in America, you’ve got all of these American analysts and supposed to be ‘boxing people’, but they bash their own kind. Then they’ll praise the foreigners. They praise the foreigners before they give compliments and praise to their own kind. I never understand that. So when you get a casual boxing fan that doesn’t know nothing about boxing, or just coming into boxing, and they listen to these people because they look up to these people or they see these people as somebody from boxing and they think they should know what they’re talking about, and when they say negative things towards their own countrymen, or he ain’t this or he ain’t this, then that’s what’s instilled in people’s heads. So they’re going to believe what they see without even doing their research. The hard thing about it is people don’t even want to do their research. They don’t want to look up things and find out things for themselves. In this game they always go off of hearsay. The first thing I hear is the first thing I believe. All of these guys like Teddy Atlas put all of this crazy stuff out – certain people believe those things – and these guy are the same guys that have been hating on me from day one since I got into boxing. I gave them no reason. The only I’ve given people is entertainment and knockouts, and that’s what they come to see, so why are all the haters on me? I don’t understand it, but it don’t get to me at all. It’s more heat to the fire, to do what I’ve got to do for any opponent that steps in the ring with me.”


WBC World Heavyweight Champion Wilder has stopped 37 of his 38 opponents, including a highlight reel, one-punch KO of Polish challenger Artur Szpilka in January 2016.


MJP: “Do you think that like Floyd Mayweather, he could be the best boxer in his division of our time, and yet he still will never get credit. Do you feel like that’s the same boat you’re in? You feel like you can dominate, but – for whatever reason – people have made their mind up about you?”

DW: “Oh, yeah. Definitely. That’s definitely me. You know, Evander Holyfield dealt with the same thing when he was coming up until he beat Mike Tyson – and even after that. But that’s just being a black man in America: let’s just face it. That’s being a black man in America. It’s never been easy for a black man in America, and it never will be until things change. People sometimes don’t want to see the black man that’s doing positive things win. We’re too strong. We’re naturally strong, we’re mentally strong. A lot of people feel that if we get too much praise we’ll end up taking over. People are scared. People are scared of black people rising because of the strength that we may have. I accept it. Like I said, it’s fuel to my fire. They ain’t doing nothing but helping me out in the long run, because I don’t take no offence. I’m too dark to take offence. My skin is too much. With that being said, it’s only motivation. It only lights my fire. There’s a lot of fake people around. There’s a lot of fake people in boxing that will be in your face, but the next minute come in with your rival or will like certain things about them, and then will be in your face and talk about ‘You’re going to beat his ass, this and that’. We see it all. I’ve got eyes everywhere. Ears everywhere. Just because I don’t approach a person or say nothing to them, doesn’t necessarily mean nothing. Doesn’t necessarily mean that I don’t know, but I know. There’s a lot of fake people around, that’s why I stay to myself, I stay close to my team and the people that have been with me from day one and the guys that are with me for sure. Because it’s hard. It’s already hard. You don’t have no support from some of these people, they’d rather bash you, they’d rather hate on you. They want to see you fall before you even gain anything. Which is okay, because the Bible says ‘Those that come last, shall come first’ – and I’m in the last of those that will come first.”

MJP: “Deontay you’ve proven a lot. You’ve proven that you need to be in with the big guys – we’d love to see you fight, obviously, Anthony Joshua – but I wanted to know, how far long in negotiations were you with Luis Ortiz? Or was it just all rumours floating around?”

DW: “Oh, no. This isn’t rumours. This is real. This is real. I want Luis Ortiz. Luis Ortiz is considered the Bogeyman of boxing. He’s considered one of the most avoided guys in boxing, which I don’t understand why. Even back in the time when they brought up about me and Luis Ortiz, I had no interest in fighting Luis Ortiz because I knew Luis Ortiz was doping. I knew this. I’m 2-0. When I say a man is doping: they’re doping. I’m not in this sport to dodge nobody or duck. I dare anyone to put ‘fear’ or ‘being scared of somebody’ under my name.”

MJP: “Do you feel like he still is? Or you feel like he isn’t now, which is why you are open to fighting him?”

DW: “Well, time has passed, he’s even had a couple of fights. He’s with Al Haymon as well and they’ve been doing a great job. As you can see with my previous opponents that’s been testing me, the thing about me when dealing with other fighters: they know the risk. They know how serious I am. I’m like this untold story, of this man, this legendary myth of me having this tremendous power that ‘if I touch you I’ll f**king kill you type of power’. When you’re listening to war stories, and not only just listening, but you see it for yourself? Like any fighter that was in Brooklyn when I knocked Szpilka out, they already got it in their head. Why do you think Povetkin did what they did? Because they know that this man [Wilder] has got power and it’s real: and he can take you out at any given time. Look at the fight with [Gerald] Washington. A lot of people didn’t know my strategy. People will try and say anything. You can’t lose a round, you’ve gotta knock somebody out. You can’t just beat them or it wasn’t a good fight or you barely won. It’s a lose/lose situation that I’m in. You just can’t please people. It’s a lose/lose situation. With the Washington fight, I did what I wanted. I gave him the confidence the ability to think that he was in there with me. Boxing is a patient game. It’s an IQ that you must have. I wasn’t getting touched like that. It was easy. I don’t even breathe. The thing about me, I don’t get tired. Even if it may look it, I’m not tired. I’m enjoying myself in that ring. I actually enjoy myself fighting. I love it. It’s a therapy for me. With that being said, I just can’t wait. I can’t wait. Because once everything comes to pass, I’m fighting people that they want to see me fight – because everybody I fight there’s always going to be something, because of the form and the fashion that I do it in. I train my ass off to do what I do! Nothing is easy. The hard part is the camp. That’s the hard part. When I get in the fight, I want it look easy. That’s what people have a problem with, because I’ve done it so easily and I’ve knocked all of these guys out senseless. I don’t just knock you out: it’s the fashion that I knock you out. You don’t know whether you might spaz out, you may get knocked out and look like you’re dead, you’re probably going to go to the hospital, you have all of these knots on your head: you might even lose your life when you’re dealing with somebody like me. That’s just what I bring to the game. I’m dangerous. I’m a dangerous fighter, so I understand why these other Champions don’t want to fight me yet. I understand it. Then it makes me look like I don’t want to fight nobody, or this and that. Which is fine, because in my career I had nothing to do with some of these guys testing positive for drugs or backing out of the fight and stuff like that. But still, people don’t care. They just want to make it seem like I don’t want to fight. Some people just try to get under your skin and say what they want to say, but I tell them ‘keep talking’ because there’s going to be a time where I always say that you’re going to look stupid trying to make excuses for my success. And I mean that.”

MJP: “You and Anthony Joshua are the two heaviest handed fighters in the Heavyweight division. Do you see that fight going the distance? Do you think that you could be the first to knock out Anthony Joshua?”

DW: “That fight [with Joshua] would not go the distance. That fight would not go the distance. It would be too much to prove, it’d be too much on the line. Both guys would be eager and so fired up to win. Both of us want the knockout. I think with that fight, that’s the only way that fight would be properly finished is if either one of us get knocked out: and I’m confident that I’ll be the one knocking him [Joshua] out. To be honest, I like Joshua. I like what he’s doing in his country. I think it’s a beautiful thing, because he’s a fighter. With him being a fighter, we’re all in the same family. He’s a fighter, I’m a fighter and everybody else is a fighter. If one fighter is winning around the world, everybody is winning. At the end of the day, people are talking and that’s what we want. When nobody is talking, then it’ll be a problem. It’ll be a dead sport. Nobody would be talking. He’s winning and his country supports him fully and that’s a beautiful thing: I love it. And he’s a black man, so I love it. But there’s going to be a time when he’s going to have to face this black man over here in America [Wilder] and I’m going to overshadow some dreams, and it will be a knockout. This is what I’m confident about. But I don’t think Joshua is confident in himself facing me though. I really don’t.”


A unification bout with IBF/WBA ‘Super’ World Heavyweight Champion Anthony Joshua is top of Deontay Wilder’s wishlist.


MJP: “With you both being Champions, who would be the ‘A’ side and who would be the ‘B’ side [in negotiations]?”

DW: “It all depends. I bring a lot to the table, whether people want to admit it or not. Of course he has the other belts, because of the opportunities that have been given to him. If you look at his resume, he ain’t fought nobody but one person. I been calling Klitschko out a year, two years ago and what did Klitschko tell me? ‘I need to fight somebody else… I need to have another name on my record…’ – but he goes and fights Joshua, who didn’t have nobody on his resume. But his country still praises him for that. Like I said, there’s been a lot of ducking and dodging so a lot of things ain’t been my fault. I can understand if I backed out of fights or if I didn’t accept fights if something came up: but these fights have not happened because of my opponents. Because of the other guy. It’s never been about me, it’s never been about my team. It’s been about the other side. So with that being said, definitely 50-50. Definitely. At the end of the day, I want all of the belts and I will get all of the belts no matter how it may happen. He doesn’t bring no much more excitement than I bring. So it’s definitely 50-50.”

MJP: “What message do you have for Anthony Joshua? I know there’s ‘Deontay Wilder’ and ‘The Bronze Bomber’ – What does ‘The Bronze Bomber’ have to say to Anthony Joshua?”

DW: “‘The Bronze Bomber’ is just plain and simple: don’t wait, make the date. I don’t blame Joshua, I don’t blame you [Joshua]: I blame Eddie Hearn. Because Eddie knows what’s going to happen. Eddie sees all of his fighters and he doesn’t want to get rid of the cash cow yet. I understand, but there’s going to be a time where there’s going to be no dodging, no ducking, there’s going to be no way around it. This fight must happen. It’s gonna happen. There’s no way around it, and when it does happen: be ready.”




Interview by: Michelle Joy Phelps

You can follow Michelle on Twitter at: @MichellePhelps


Transcript by: Rob Tebbutt

You can also follow Rob on Twitter at: @Rob Tebbutt

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