Deontay Wilder says he wants to “clean out” boxing’s heavyweight division and atone for that crushing defeat by Tyson Fury last year.
‘The Bronze Bomber’ was 42-0-1, the WBC world heavyweight king and the fight game’s most feared knockout artist when he stepped into the ring for his rematch with Fury in Las Vegas in February 2020.
But around 30 minutes later his world was in tatters after suffering a devastating stoppage defeat inside seven rounds. He was bullied, beaten and ultimate stopped when his co-trainer Mark Breland threw in the towel.
Wilder never forgave Breland for that act and the pair subsequently split. Deontay also threw out a string of wild excuses for his defeat – including the weight of his elaborate ring walk costume.
Now though, despite the collapse of his trilogy fight with Fury last December, the 35-year-old from Tuscaloosa, Alabama is desperate to get back to the top.
Wilder target list
He told Marcus Watson on Instagram:”I’d love to fight guys I haven’t fought, you know, the ones at the top who I haven’t fought. That’s what I want and I know that’s kinda lame a little bit, to not name a name. But anyone I haven’t faced at the top, that’s you.”
Then, when asked about Anthony Joshua or Andy Ruiz Jr, he responded: “Yeah. Any fighter that’s at the top that people haven’t seen me fight and people strongly want to see me fight, that’s who I want to fight.
“I can sit here and name names all day, that’s the easy part. I’m just going to go to the top and once you go to the top and it’s someone I ain’t fought, that’s who I want to fight. I want to clean the division out, period.”
Wilder of course did have Fury on the floor twice in their first meeting in Los Angeles in December 2018. The second time, in round 12, it appeared Fury was down for the count. But somehow – like Lazsrus – he rose from the dead.
Deontay still believes he was hard done by, and that referee Jack Reiss should have waved the fight off.
He claimed: “I definitely knocked him out. Look how many times, my referee at the time I had Jack Reiss, if you go back and look at any of his fights, he stops a lot of fights early.
“Sometimes they don’t even have to get up, they’re waving it off. When I knocked Fury out, I’ve literally seen it for myself.
“That’s one of the reasons why I was so surprised too, not only because of the count to but I’ve seen this man’s eyes – you know when you’re having good sex and your eyes roll back into your head?
“That’s how his s*** was. But I’ve seen the veins popping out of his head and I knew he had a concussion. He was gone. That’s a wave off, period.”