Deontay Wilder once hit someone on the gloves with so much force that he broke their wrist. The WBC heavyweight champion was no older than 10 at the time.
His power can be described as frightening, bludgeoning, destructive… three adjectives that still do not represent a true reflection of what the ‘Bronze Bomber’ possesses from shoulder to fist on two arms that have made sure only one of his 40 opponents (Bermane Stiverne in 2015) have heard the final bell. Two years later, in a rematch, Stiverne wouldn’t see round two!
Opponent number 41, although not confirmed, looks like being boxing’s Rubik’s cube – Tyson Fury. The fight promotion began in Belfast when Deontay travelled to Northern Ireland’s capital, to watch Fury toy with Francesco Pianeta for ten rounds, receiving a hero’s welcome that only the likes of local lad Carl Frampton have become accustomed to in recent years.
“There’s no-one in the world that I can grab that will help me to train for Tyson,” Wilder said when speaking to GIVEMESPORT last month about the proposed heavyweight showdown.
“I can train for certain things and just like him he’s not going to find anyone in the world with my awkwardness and most of all what makes me so dangerous, which no one can prepare for, is not just the awkwardness but the power. Nobody possesses the power that I do in the sport and that’s not being arrogant, that’s not being cocky, numbers don’t lie.”
Wilder’s power is one of the most feared and talked about traits in boxing. Gennady Golovkin can break you down and dim the lights, Wilder – like many a heavyweight – can turn them off.
“To be honest I don’t ever think about my power,” said Wilder.
“It’s something that’s always been with me. I’ve always been strong, I’ve always been that skinny little kid that can do it just like the bigger guys. My physique just wasn’t there. That’s why I tell people don’t judge a book by its cover. I’d rather be the part than look the part. I’m in disguise. I may not look what I am but until you test me, until you try me then what a surprise you uncover!
“I am the man that has the power in this division and I know that in the back of my head so that’s why I don’t go in thinking to try and knock these guys out. If I try to knock them out it’ll never happen, it’ll take me so much longer. They can anticipate it. If you’re going 12 rounds, 36 minutes, one thing’s for sure someone’s gonna get hit. I know I’m very accurate with my right hand, and the things that I throw, so my slogan is always: ‘I don’t know when it’s coming but it’s coming and when it comes? Bam baby. Good night.’”
An Unpredictable Exchange
Tyson Fury was dropped by an overhand right from cruiserweight turned heavyweight Steve Cunningham in April 2013. A night, a week when Fury-mania hit New York with personality, punch and song.
Memorable in so many ways, but a worry for those who may be supporting the ‘Gypsy King’ as he bids to win the WBC title for the first time in such a precarious comeback stage of his career.
Wilder knows about the little man who dropped the big man in The Big Apple, but he also knows of the unpredictability and intelligence of Fury who bamboozled and perplexed Wladimir Klitschko in 2015 which ended a decade of dominance from the Ukrainian.
“And that’s why people should tune in because you’ve got two awkward guys in the ring, pretty tall, very smart, very great at what we do. You’ve got one that has boxing intelligence and skill and you have one that possesses the most dangerous power in the heavyweight division.
"Many think Tyson will out-box me if I don’t knock him out first. Even my fans feel I have to knock him out because if I don’t he’s going to beat me on points. And his fans feel the same way, they have confidence in Tyson, but they don’t know because Deontay can knock him out.
"Look what Cunningham did. It’s a great fight because there’s so many factors and key points that can be talked about. When it’s like that, and they get excited, you as a fighter get excited.”
The AJ Saga Is Over, for now
Wilder was a man at peace, and one of happiness when GIVEMESPORT spoke to him. The will-they-won't-they saga of Anthony Joshua vs. Wilder had been put to bed. Contractual disputes and accusations, between both parties, meant a day didn’t go by for several weeks when the column inches in boxing media were not taken up by a tale that, for now, has run its course.
“I’m really just overwhelmed and happy that the situation is over. It should be the best fighting the best, not to see how much money this guy can make out of milking people for half decent fights, but the only thing you’re paying for is the event that you’re coming to. I know we tried everything.
"This was a dream moment for me and my team. To see his team continue to come out and try and justify it is laughable now. I’m just glad we’re not a part of it no more.”
Wilder vs. Fury looks like having the last laugh. Joshua may well be defending his three world titles at Wembley Stadium in front of potentially 80,000 on September 22 against Alexander Povetkin but the wild one from Alabama and the comeback kid from Manchester look likely to steal the heavyweight thunder later this year.
It will be a promotion packed full of antics, laughter, hyperbole and some good old trash talking and the American completely gets that side of things.
“We’re going to have jokes, we’re going to have insults, do little things to one another, that’s boxing. It’s part of boxing and it makes it entertainment. But I want to let people know that this fight is 100% real. This is real! The fight will live up to the hype. We’re both not playing. We’re going to promote, we’re going to do things that may seem a little scripted at times but best believe this fight is 100% real.”