Deontay Wilder: I’m not treating the Gavern fight as a warm-up

Unbeaten heavyweight Deontay Wilder (31-0, 31 KOs) is taking seriously his opponent Jason Gavern (25-16-4, 11 KOs) this Saturday night in their fight at the StubHub Center in Carson, California.

Deontay doesn’t care that Gavern, 37, is seen as a guy without a hope in this fight. He’s still taking him seriously, because he realizes at the heavyweight level one punch can change the outcome of the fight regardless of how over-matched that fighter is. In this case, Gavern has respectable power, and could potentially pull off an upset of Deontay if he lands something big enough.

With Deontay on course to get a title shot in the near future against WBC heavyweight champion Bermane Stiverne by November or December, a loss to Gavern would be disastrous. Deontay would lose his shot at the title and would have to get back in line to try and work his way to a shot against him or one of the champions. At best, Deontay might be able to work his way to a crack at a title within two years. At worst, it could take 3-4 years before he finally gets a world title shot.

Deontay said “This is boxing, and this is the heavyweight division. So you can’t take anyone lightly. I’m not treating this like a warm-up. My main focus is fighting for a title, but I’m not looking past my opponent on Aug. 16.” Camp has been the same as always. We’re not looking past August 16, but we know to prepare for Stiverne. That’s how confident I am in my ability and skills.”

Well, it would be nice if Deontay would have picked out a better opponent than Gavern for him to be fighting on Saturday because he’s capable of beating a lot better fighters than this guy. But then again, Deontay doesn’t make his fights. His opposition is picked out by Golden Boy Promotions.

They’re not going to take any chances with Deontay by putting him in with a guy that has a chance of knocking him out or beating him by a decision. They want Deontay to reach the mother lode by winning a world title so he can start making bank.

“I’m not worried about people picking the ‘right guy’ for me,” Deontay said. “I would be the laughing stock of the world if I had the title fight lined up and lost this fight on August 16. So I just have to get the job done next week and we’ll go from there.”