Ahead of his clash with unheralded challenger Eric Molina on Saturday, Alabama’s WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder has spoken out to Sky Sports – who will be showing the fight in the UK – to promote the contest and talk about not only the future of the heavyweight division, but the future of boxing generally – something he feels he is ready to be the new star of following Floyd Mayweather’s inevitable retirement from the sport.
“Floyd Mayweather seems to be coming to the end and boxing needs an exciting new face to take over. I believe I can be that exciting new face.”
If Wilder has one thing it’s bags of personality – and the likable American is intent on rubber stamping that – coupled with his devastating punch power – onto boxing’s marquee division, looking ahead to potential super fights with the other leading lights in the division – notably Wladimir Klitschko and Britain’s Tyson Fury.
Before he got his shot at Wladimir Klitschko, Frank Warren was in talks with executives at both HBO and Showtime, who Wilder fights on – for Tyson Fury to be the man facing Deontay. Something the American confirms.
“I’ve been working on Tyson for about three years and we had reached the point of negotiations but the chance of the Klitschko fight changed their plans.”
It always did strike me as slightly odd that Team Fury didn’t chase Wilder instead – which is the far more winnable fight – yet Wilder sheds some light on the influence of Team Klitschko behind the scenes on that decision.
“Also the Klitschko’s did not want one of their prospective opponents to be taken out of the mix by me beating Tyson. That’s OK because a fight with either of them – Wladimir in the US or Fury in the UK – would be huge.”
Provided this “Gimme” fight against Molina is just that, then we can hopefully look towards some big fights for Wilder in the near future – perhaps firstly against new WBC mandatory Alexander Povetkin – a fight that could potentially end up in Russia thanks to the deep pockets of Povetkin’s Soviet backers.
Either way, Wilder is promising big things after he blows away Molina on Saturday;
“It’s time to bring the undisputed heavyweight championship of the world back to America – where it belongs.”
Let’s hope that we can believe him.