Deontay Wilder, holder of the WBC world title, seeks to fight the winner of the Wladimir Klitschko – Tyson Fury showdown.
He claims that there is a need to eradicate any doubt or confusion as to who is the true heavyweight champion of the world.
Speaking to WBN, the 6’7’’ American explained his unification plans with a statement of intent.
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"All these belts are starting to get ridiculous. There are so many belts and people get so confused about who's this champion? What's that champion? What this belt is? - And it's confusing," he said.
"I think it would be a great thing to just have one heavyweight champion of the world, once and for all."
“Not all WBC, IBF and all that champion of the world, especially for the heavyweight division - which is the cream of the crop."
As it stands, the "Bronze Bomber" holds just one of the four major world title belts. Wladimir Klitschko, on the other hand, boasts the IBF, WBO and WBA titles, and has successfully defended them on multiple occasions.
Deontay Wilder’s Legitimate Champion Theory
It may be the result of too many punches to the head - sustained in his latest fight against the relatively unknown Johann Duhaupas - a sort of child’s tantrum or a weak psych-out tactic, but Wilder claims that he is legitimate world champion.
This is in spite of his two belt deficit to Klitschko.
The brash American believes that the WBC is superior to the other three titles combined, and so he is more worthy of the title.
In a press conference at the end of September, as reported by Boxing Junkie, Deontay Wilder made this logical claim as to why his one belt trumps Klitschko’s three:
“I got what people want, I got the WBC belt. I have the belt all the greats have had. That’s why they want what I have, that’s why Klitschko wants what I have. I’ve got that belt.
“So I am the legitimate heavyweight champion of the world.”
It seems that he wasn’t under the influence when making this statement as he reiterated his point in an interview with WBN:
"I have the most legit belt in all of boxing. The most precious, most well-known belt. You know a lot of people want to say that Wladimir is the champion.
“Yeah, he's a champion, of course because he has the rest of the belts, but I'm the WBC heavyweight champ and every fighter who wants to be champion wants the WBC belt. Even Wladimir - he wants the WBC title.”
Whilst the WBC belt might be more popular, mainly because of its controversial dealings with Don King, the other belts still hold as much significance, and three belts is superior to one.
Wilder Ducking Away from Challenges
Wilder faces his third title defence against an as yet unnamed opponent in January, and if NBC is running this fight, as they have his previous defences, they’ll most likely draft in another no hoper for their prized home fighter to stroll past.
Having said that, Wilder took a fair beating in his latest defence bout against Johann Duhaupas, who was a relatively unknown French boxer.
It took the American 11 rounds to finally beat the European underdog.
It seems as though, like his compatriot Floyd Mayweather, Wilder opts into the much more favourable matches now that he owns a belt. He hasn’t faced worthy opposition since claiming the belt from Canadian Bermane Stiverne at the start of the year.
This may not just be down to him being afraid to face a challenge, but the fact broadcasting companies in the US would rather the heavyweight division didn’t succumb to any more European domination. The RING magazine only ranks two Americans in their top ten heavyweight boxers.
Alexander Povetkin’s Title Hopes Slipping Away
It has been heavily rumoured that the boxing board would make Deontay Wilder fight Alexander Povetkin next year, if Wilder was able to retain his WBC title in January. Povetkin is probably the best belt-less heavyweight at the minute.
In 2013, when Povetkin was 26-0, he took on Wladimir Klitschko. The Ukrainian out-boxed Povetkin, using his height against him and stopping the Russian from moving in close.
Despite being knocked down four times, Povetkin went all 12 rounds but lost by unanimous decision.
Since then, Povetkin has been fighting taller opponents than himself and crushed 6’8’’ Polish monster Mariusz Wach by total knockout in his latest fight.
Being 6’2’’, the majority of the heavyweight contenders and champions are a fair bit taller than Povetkin, but his power punching and boxing skill make him a formidable foe.
But the Russian’s well-deserved opportunity to win the a title may now be ruined by Deontay Wilder’s plans for a unification fight. Wilder has stated that he wants to fight the winner of the Klitschko – Fury fight in order to unify the four belts.
The sanctioning bodies would almost certainly back a unification fight over a Povetkin – Wilder single belt title fight.
More Chance of Becoming Undisputed than Beating Povetkin
To Deontay Wilder, either winner of the Wladimir Klitschko and Tyson Fury fight would be a preferable opponent to Alexander Povetkin.
Tyson Fury is going into the fight as a huge outsider, if he was to win there would be quite a bit of luck involved. The 6’9’’ brawler improves with every fight, getting fitter and stronger; but technically he is far inferior to his upcoming opponent.
The Batsuit sporting Brit would be lucky to beat Wladimir Klitschko but if he did he’d still pose less of a threat than Povetkin.
The IBF, WBO and WBA belt holder, and current heavyweight boxing champion, will find a tough fight against Tyson Fury. He hits hard and moves well for his size. But Klitschko always wants a new challenge so that he can adapt his skills to challenge the new opponent.
But Wladimir is 39-years-old. In an interview with Sports Illustrated he claimed to be as fit as ever but also admitted that time catches up to everyone, which is what Deontay Wilder will be banking on.
Wilder would have weighed up his options and seen that his best chance, although still very slim, lies with a hopefully ageing Klitschko, or a lucky champion by the likes of Tyson Fury.
He would stand very little chance against Povetkin so almost has to play his luck against one of the other two fighters.
He’ll be mandated to face a worthy contender sooner or later so he may as well force the issue, with a more tempting billing, to raise his chances of victory.
The Long Wait Could be Coming to an End
Deontay Wilder is right about one thing, a unification fight is what everyone wants to see.
Not only would it result in the first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis’ reign ended in 2000, but it would also be the first time that four world championship titles have been held by one boxer.
It’s a shame that Alexander Povetkin may miss out on his chance to claim Wilder’s WBC title but he’s good enough to potentially challenge whoever the undisputed champion may be.