K. Swanson – I want to introduce everybody to the WBC Heavyweight Champion of the World, none other than Deontay Wilder.
He is 40 and 0 with one draw and he has 39 knockouts. Representing his hometown of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, he’ll be looking to make the ninth defense of his heavyweight title that he won back in January 2015.
In 2018 he had two of the most exciting and memorable fights of the year. He defeated then unbeaten Luis Ortiz in March knocking him out in the tenth round of a back and forth war.
Then in December he dropped Tyson Fury twice, including in the 12th round of their clash that eventually ended in a split draw. This Saturday, May 18 he will be defending his title for the fourth time at Barclays Center in Brooklyn and he has had knockouts in all three of his previous defenses there.
Also joining him on the line is Shelly Finkel, for any questions you might have for him. I’d like to introduce none other than the Heavyweight Champ of the World, Deontay Wilder to make his opening comments before we open it up to the press.
Hello guys. How you guys doing? Thank you guys for coming along. What can I say that I haven’t already said? I’m excited about May 18. It’s been a long camp. It’s been a hard camp. It’s also been a fun camp. Very interesting as well too.
I broke myself back down to the basics and I’ve invested in myself more than I’ve ever done in my career thus far. It’s crazy this opponent has allowed me to break myself down and get back to the basics because I’ve already stated what I want to do.
I’m going to do what I said I was going to do just like I do all the time. With this particular fight I’m going to make sure I do it in the worst way possible.
That’s why I decided to break myself down and I decided to invest in myself so I make sure I do exactly what I said that I would do in intense fashion, in a painful way and on an elite level. So I’d like to welcome Breazeale to the elite level.
He’s never been in this level before. He thought he did with Joshua but Deontay Wilder is a whole different beast. I come with a whole different mindset. And we already know that I come with the right hand from hell.
Can you maybe tell us some of the things that you did in camp that were different from before?
Well like I said, I’ll start with a simple thing. I started back jump-roping. I started back doing a lot of speed bags, a lot of different things on the heavy bags.
Most of the time my camps, there’s sparring with the mitts and that’s through all of them. If you go into other camps you’ll see them hitting everything in the gym but not hard. I get away with so much because I know my true ability and my training. A lot of these guys, they only look for one particular thing and that’s the right hand. That’s where they go wrong because I have so many different attributes about myself.
I’m athletic. I’m agile. I’m mobile. I’m hostile. I’ve got the heart of a lion. I am a king. I’ve purchased a lot of different equipment to enhance my body and to perform, like a Jacuzzi and strength training equipment.
I’ve got the top of the line Jacuzzi for therapy, different things like that. My home, in my basement I attempted to put a full gym, a personal gym, a real nice one. And it’s been amazing. 24 hours of training.
I had got to the point where I had to stop training so hard. My doctor advised me not to train so hard because it always kept me up. I went off to the gym and then I’d come home. And then when you have a gym at the house it’s like and you’ve got a fight coming up, it’s non-stop thinking.
So if you’re thinking about the fight, your body is going to react and so you go downstairs and start working out or start hitting the bag or start doing a lot of things. I’ve got massage table here and I’ve got a lot of different things here that I never thought about doing before.
But now, like I said, I want to bring the pain. I want to do so much damage to this guy that he’s allowed me to invest in myself, something I should have done a long time ago. But it’s never too late for new things and for me it just relit my career.
It relit the interest in boxing. I’ve been through so much in this sport ups and downs. And it took all this time. It took this motivation right here. It’s paid off outside of the ring
Everything I say I mean. And I do what I say. And that’s what makes me who I am. I’m the realest champion in the business and that’s where I am at this point.
Deontay, what convinced you to make these changes? Is there any one thing that made you do that or is it a combination of things?
I owe it all to Breazeale. I owe it all to him.
Like I said, I’m coming to bring the pain. If you don’t understand that, you’ll see. My actions speak louder than my words. I’m not one of these guys that just talks just to hear myself talk or who’s cloud chasing or just to say some stuff, because I am who I am.
I don’t waste my time. I’ve always been like that. This hasn’t just started because I’ve gotten into boxing. I became a champion.
Anyone that’s grown with me, anyone that’s been around me will tell you when Deontay’s speaking and saying something, even my managers and my trainers, they all will tell you when this guy speaks he means it. He don’t say nothing just to say it. Like he really means it.
And the thing is that when I’m outside of this ring, a man comes to my city and starts chaos like that and then telling a bogus story, try to sell sympathy and wants people to show sympathy and remorse. I don’t like that.
I don’t like that at all. He’s like one of these guys that will come into your establishment and waste water on the floor and slip on it just to sue you. What goes around comes around.
This May 18, it will be my time. It’s punishment time. It’s judgment time. And I am the judge.
You’ve long been a critic of the epidemic of PED’s in boxing. It obviously came to the forefront with this Jarrell Miller and Anthony Joshua situation. What went through your mind when you see a guy fail three tests?
Where do I start with it? I’ve always told people about Jarrell Miller. I’ve always said certain things. I know a lot of things about a lot of fighters, because I know the people that I’ve fought.
Like they tell me, the doctors tell me. They’re not my friend. I’m just here for the business. And that sounds about right. I give out subliminal messages. I’m not a rat. I don’t go around and call names out and stuff. But I’ve been saying a lot of things.
One particular time I said something about Jarrell Miller. I said, you better stop doing this, this and this. Somebody put out the video before. Finally, when things happened, people were saying, hey Wilder’s been saying that.
Yes, I’ve been saying that. Why can’t you believe me in the first place? I’m one of these types of people that people don’t believe things I say happened, which is okay because it’s too late.
Another thing about the situation. There’s so many things you can say about the situation. I’m just tired of talking about it so I’ll leave it as this. I’m always talking about what can happen in the ring. This sport, you know, killing a man in the ring.
This boxing is so dangerous, so brutal. When you get these guys on these PEDs and stuff like that, this is what they’re going to do.
Like I’m natural. I’m natural so I feel like I have the right to speak my peace because I am the one that’s entering the ring. I am the one and my opponent’s the one that’s risking their life.
But when you’re getting guys that are doing PEDs and asking their bodies to do things they’re not supposed to do – no one really just criticizes. Even with the organizations, when is there going to be a time when somebody puts their foot down and shows somebody?
There’s so much stuff you can say with that man. Like I said, it is what it is. It’s a brutal sport that we’re in and I love it. I love it. I signed up so I’ve got to suffer the consequences and deal with everything that comes behind it and I’m here.
Dominic said that he doesn’t think anybody would agree with me that you’ve become a pretty good world champion. What are your thoughts on that?
I mean that was what every opponent I’ve faced has said. Every one of them. If it’s been ten years, then for ten years they’ve been spewing the same thing for ten years – what have I been doing?
I’m still here. I’m still a champion. It’s different when you get in the ring with me then. Any guy that has gotten in the ring with me or that gets in the ring with me – when I say gets in the ring I mean a sparring partner.
The guys that have gotten in the ring with me, being future opponents, they will tell you, this man is not what you think he is. But it’s good that people think that way.
People are simple minded, people like him think that way because when you enter into that ring and you feel that first blow, you know that you’re in for a fight. My mindset is different. My mindset is so big that a spaceship can fit in it.
I am here for the long run. This is not a short run for me. I’m here for a generational one. I’m betting on myself. I’m taking control of my career in my own hands because I am the talent. I know what I possess. A lot of these guys wish they had what I have. That’s just an easy way to cop out. For ten years this is what he’s been doing with his right hand.
We’re going to find out and it’s not going to be long now either. He’s going to find out. So he’s going to realize that he’s never been in a ring with a guy like myself. He’s fought for the world title before and it seemed like he didn’t belong there in the first place.
Now he’s in there with a real killer. A real one who speaks that speaks his peace and I mean what I say. Nobody’s going to stop me. I mean what I say and I say what I mean and come the 18th he’s going to find out.
This guy is very nervous. I know everything that he wants to do. I know it all. And he should be nervous because I don’t mean no good for him. All bad intentions. If you’re a first time viewer of boxing, I don’t know, it depends on how you feel about seeing a body on the ground or seeing blood on somebody. You’re going to be in for a treat.
I hope you stick around for the next one and the next one to come because I’m the most exciting heavyweight in the business, period. Period. There’s no one that’s more exciting that brings the pain and that brings the drama as I. And I can speak it.
A lot of you guys, you know who want to be kind and soft and want to be politically correct and want to talk tough. No, I’ll tell you what I feel in the moment of time. I feel the energy in the room. I feel the energy in myself and I release that.
I tell you how it is and when the time comes for me to display that I do that as well and I do it in a great fashion.
Is there any kind of competition within you to want to show the boxing public or the fans that you Joshua and Fury are all fighting within a 30 day period roughly and you want to be the one to show as the best performance of those three to sort of let people continue to gauge you against each other?
I never even thought about that. Nor will I think about it after this conversation because I know what I possess. I know who I am and as you can see, I’m the most exciting out of all of those guys.
These guys don’t bring the excitement that I bring. Tyson Fury’s the most boring one of all or of us. So I think I just continue to do what I do and do what I do best and that’s knock these guys out silly. I’m not in competition with none of them.
They’re great guys. They’re great fighters themselves and I expect them to be themselves. Don’t add no pressure onto it. Do what you all do. And Deontay Wilder’s going to do what he does.
How do you explain to the public why those fights are not happening at the moment?
Well it’s simple. If they took the time and took a deep breath and sat back and reflected on their past and what has happened there. I know we’re in the present right now and the future’s bright as well too.
But if you look back in the past and sit back and see what Deontay has already tried to do to him and his team has tried to do, let’s start out with Fury first. With Fury since Fury felt like everyone got that perspective of him beating me from the commentary.
When you get new people come in, they don’t know what they’re looking at. They don’t’ know what’s going on so they’re going to look for the so-called experts of the sport and listen to them.
So let’s start from there. They carry away with that. So if I’m a fighter and I’m thinking, hey, I beat his ass, my first reaction is, I want an immediate rematch. I feel like they got that wrong.
You want an immediate reaction rematch because you know the second rematch ain’t nothing. That’s going to be simple. It’s going to be easy.
So what we did – I said, hey, I know what I did. I whipped your ass. I was more aggressive. I want to understand, what was the main highlight of the fight the whole night? I think we all can answer that. It’s Fury being knocked on his ass and getting back up. That was the whole highlight of the whole fight.
So in essence, I’m saying, hey, I won so I want a rematch. As a champion instead of moving forward I want to give you this rematch because I want to bless you. So what did he do? So if you’re a guy that knows that you’re beating me with a wild margin, you immediately take that rematch.
You don’t run or get other fighters. You immediately take that. Fury knows. I gave him a concussion. When you get a man that doesn’t understand how he got on the ground nor how he got up, his brain has been shocked. He don’t want that fight no more.
He don’t want to get in no more. As as a fighter we must promote ourselves. We must carry this type of ego like I’m the man and I did this and that because we don’t want people to look on us as punks or somebody’s that scared.
Because you’re a fighter. You’re not supposed to be scared. Well we’re human beings as well too. So if he’s on his side he knows the real reason. That’s why he’s fighting another guy. That’s why he had the contract in his face for five days to a week.
Then ESPN came along and all of them. He didn’t want that fight or I wouldn’t have had to fight my mandatory. I would have gone straight to Fury and then with Breazeale.
With Joshua it’s easy. Four months we tried. Four different occasions. Maybe five different occasions. 12.5, 15 flat fee. He said, I want 50/50. We gave that to him. Well, no, my country deserves for me to fight here so I’m going to fight here.
So he didn’t want to fight on his own so they had to step in and make the fight and then they had to come back and apologize because they weren’t prepared for us. That’s what – four or five times we tried to make the fight? Now they cry because they don’t have nowhere to do.
Go back and study it. Go back and see, who really is the king of the division? Who really tried to make these fights? Then when you come back you’ll find yourself in a better place and you’ll come with peace with yourself.
The PR people sent this out and I found it to be very interesting. The fight that you’re going to have against Breazeale is going to be your ninth title defense. You’re starting to edge into historical names on the list of heavyweights that have made that many defenses, if you’re successful against Breazeale.
Nin is how many defenses Muhammad Ali made the first time he was champion. It’s the number of title defenses that Mike Tyson made in his first famous title reign. And it’s the number of title defenses that Lennox Lewis made in his second championship reign which was obviously when he was at his very best.
What would it mean to you to sort of put yourself in that list of guys to get to the ninth title defense in the heavyweight division?
It means a lot. I means a great deal to me. It means a lot to accomplish that. It means that I’ve proved so many people wrong and still to this day I’m proving people wrong.
It’s going to be a great accomplishment not only in the past – so many great fighters that came before me but to continue to go forward to be the number one guy. I’ve still got a long way to go to do what I want to do in this sport.
I will accomplish everything I set forth to do. I’m an amazing fighter. I’m an amazing talent and I’ve got an amazing team behind me. And with that combination man, the sky’s the limit.
I feel like this fight is a little more personal to you than maybe some of your past fights, do you agree?
Oh, most definitely. Oh man and that’s not a laugh of joy. That’s an evil laugh. In an evil scene, the evil man’s got to laugh. That’s my evil laugh.
I think this is the most excited I’ve been and the most I wanted to hurt a man since 2015 with Bermane Stiverne. And we all know what happened to him. And the second time was just playing around with him.
With this one right here, the story that comes behind it, people have got to understand when you’re dealing with Deontay Wilder, I’m passionate about what I say. I’m passionate about what I do.
Dominic Breazeale better display himself on that night, because I put him on my card. He didn’t have to be on my card. But you come to my hometown and cause this mess? And like I said before you want to start this drama and act like you were the victim and your wife was the victim? He’s an opportunist and I don’t’ like that.
So I needed this boost as a champion of the division, I needed this boost. Like I said, I never thought of investing in myself the way I’ve done. To be a champion and get away with so many different things, man it’s been crazy.
But now I’ve turned every stone over man. This is the most precise camp that I’ve ever had, in my entire life. I feel it tops all camps and I needed this re-ignition in my life. I needed this extra boost because I will do what I say I’m going to do and that night I’m damn well going to try. I guarantee you that.
Was it frustrating for you to kind of have to reset yourself and now think about preparing for other opponents that are going to be wanting to fight you starting with Dominic Breazeale?
No, it wasn’t. It wasn’t hard for me. You’ve got to look at what I’ve been through. I keep talking about the past. You’ve got to see what I’ve been through with different guys disappointing me.
Failing drug tests. Making me lose out on a lot of money. And stuff like that. So I understand the business of boxing and I know that if you have something in place one minute, the next minute it could be gone just like that.
Once you go through this cycle and you go through it over and over again, you try to get the understanding, a better understanding of fights and what’s to come. Nothing is guaranteed until you’re in that ring and that guy throws the first blow.
As we can see even when the bell rings, it doesn’t start until that first blow is thrown because we’ve got guys that will get out of the damn ring at the time the bell rings.
So things like that have prepared me. I understand as a fighter why he made that decision. I hurt Tyson Fury very badly. I gave him a crushing.
Like I said, the man had memory loss and that’s not healthy. That’s not healthy for you and as a man, as a man with a family, hey, if you need a warm-up, a tune-up to see if your marbles are back in place, go do that. Take as many more months as you need.
We understand. He said he got three more fights and then be out of here. We all know why he’s going to be out of here because one of those fights leads up to me. And I’m going to finish it. I’m going to finish the job.
So I understand it all. I have a guy there that can’t understand things. Even in everyday life there’s someone going through something. I try. My mind, like I said is so big and spacious so when you are describing something and telling me something I try to take my mind in a virtual reality and put myself in your position.
I try to look at every aspect possible and try to go and understand. So I understand why he made that decision. I understand it all. And it’s healthy that I want the best Fury when that time comes, just like I want with all these guys.
Because I don’t want no excuses. I’m the only fighter that can come in with damaged arms and body mashed and still knock you out because I am blessed. My grandma said I was anointed by God. And she was so right.
I’m just wondering if you’ll talk about this topic of betting on yourself and what the plan is on your career to maximize the value you can get out of it?
Yes, most definitely. Like I said, if anybody’s going to take my career, it’s going to be myself. I understand we used to have a promoter and what comes in the contract with having a promoter.
But when you get to a certain point and you know you’re the talent and they’re coming to see your talent. And if you have the opportunity, why not take a chance on yourself?
Why not bet on yourself and I have a smart team that educated me and guided me through. No matter what people say about certain people, I have a wonderful team.
Me and Shelly and Jay Deas, we started together. We’re going to end together. And when we brought Al along, even more it made me and my team strong.
So who I’m with now? It’s who I’m going to end with. And they guided me all the way through. They’re going to make sure that not only do I go in history but they go in history as well as a team and it’s a blessing to have such a strong team in a business that’s so dirty.
That’s why I bet on myself. I have everything established and set for myself. My own promotion. And we’re looking forward to doing great things.
We’re very serious in the promotion. I know a lot of guys, oh, I’ve got a promotion coming up. Well that sounds good but what do you really want to do with it? And I’m in it for the long run.
I think I have the talent and ability to display myself in a way that can bring excitement in a way I’ve already done but the next step is to cement outside of the ring.
I think I’m going to be able to promote fighters and be able to talk about them and not talk about myself and be able to really promote fighters and bring the next Deontay Wilder or the next whoever they want to be.
I always say, even as I tell my brother I don’t want you to be just like me. I want you to be better than me. I’m the type of person that even if you do better than me, I’m happy for you.
And a lot of people are not like that because some people you do get equal to them or higher than them. That’s when the jealousy and envy come. I’m not that type of person.
My heart is of gold. I’m a provider and protector. And I love to see people do great even if it’s better than I.
Deontay is willing to take the risk both in taking low money and he’s willing to walk away. One of the most powerful words in the world is no and he is strong enough to say no and believe in himself that whatever he said no to now would be worth a lot more later.
So far that has proven through and I don’t see any reason it won’t be going forward. He’s a very, very strong human, not physically but mentally. And when you’re with him, you’re with him and he’s with you. There’s nothing better.
People have tried to break us up. His strength of who he is, means he knows who was there for him whether it be Jay or Al or myself. And that’s who he sticks with. I’m just very proud of him and proud to be part of his team.
What I’d like to do is ask Deontay if he has final thoughts before we hang up. And we look forward to seeing you next week in Brooklyn for Fight Week. Deontay?
May 18 is the time. I think everyone is being patient with this little thing that we have going on in the heavyweight division.
Just look at it and consider this – the excitement is back in the heavyweight division. The fire is lit. I’m more excited than I’ve ever been in my career because of everything that’s going on with it.
So I ask people just to be patient. And with patience comes time. And you’ve got to be able to even both out, patience and time, because they all work together.
You’re going to get the main fight that you guys want to see. The great thing about it is that we’re all still in discussion. I can understand if it was a closed door and we’re not having no discussion with nobody. Then it would be something that really would be a laid out or drawn out thing.
But everyone is still in discussion and talking and it’s just going to take a little time but I just tell people, the fans of boxing, people that’s coming in boxing, everyone just to have patience. The big fights are going to happen.
You know that when the big fights happen, you know that Deontay Wilder’s involved in it because most of these guys they live by the motto of less risk with high rewards.
But we know that I’ve taken high risks with low rewards. We’ve gotten smarter. We’ve proven ourselves. And we’re doing our own thing. Like I said, we’re betting on ourselves and when I bet on myself, you’re going to get great response.
You’re going to get great shows out of me. And I’m looking forward to May 18. So I’ll see you guys there and I’m looking forward to you guys. And I also want to announce my new clothing line. I got it coming out that will be sold online. You can look out for that. That way you can get your gear and are ready for May 18 and support me.
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ABOUT WILDER VS. BREAZEALE
Wilder vs. Breazeale is headlined by Heavyweight World Champion Deontay Wilder defending his WBC title against top contender Dominic Breazeale Saturday, May 18 live on SHOWTIME from Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING™, and presented by Premier Boxing Champions.
SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and features WBC Featherweight World Champion Gary Russell Jr. defending his title against former world champion Kiko Martínez, plus unbeaten super lightweight contender Juan Heráldez squaring-off against former world champion Argenis Méndez in a 10-round attraction.
Tickets for this BombZquad event can be purchased at ticketmaster.com and barclayscenter.com. Tickets also can be purchased at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center. Group discounts are available by calling 844-BKLYN-GP. The Heraldez vs. Mendez fight is co-promoted with Mayweather Promotions.