APPARENTLY, WBC world heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder just can’t help himself.
Not content with being known as the boxer who threatens killing opponents in the ring, the ‘Bronze Bomber’ has this week come out and reiterated rather than retracted his past comments.
His next opponent, fellow American Dominic Breazeale, was warned weeks ago that his life was in danger and now, with the pair’s WBC title fight just days away, has been reminded of Wilder’s threat.
“His life is on the line for this fight, and I do mean his life,” Wilder told a group of reporters ahead of Saturday’s defence against Breazeale. “I’m still trying to get me a body on my record. Dominic Breazeale asked for his. I didn’t go seek him, he seeked (sic) me. So, if it comes, it comes.
“This is a brutal sport; this is not a gentleman’s sport. I keep saying this is not a gentleman’s sport. We don’t ask to hit each other in the face, but we do anyway.
“You can ask any doctor around the world and he’ll tell you the head is not meant to be hit.
“Anybody can go, and, on this particular time, we have bad blood against each other.
“This is the only sport where you can kill a man and get paid for it at the same time.
“It’s legal, so why not use my right to do so?”
Again Wilder highlights the sport’s inherent dangers but in the most reckless, callous and insensitive way possible. He said something similar about Bermane Stiverne back in 2017, before stopping the Haitian inside a round, and will presumably say the same about other opponents in future.
Chances are, he will then say it was all the work of ‘The Bronze Bomber’ rather than Deontay Wilder and that it is necessary to enter a certain kill-or-be-killed mind frame before any fight in which lives are potentially in danger. Some will believe him. Most, though, will find it tough to forgive and forget, especially if one day his premonition comes true.
In other heavyweight news, Bulgarian contender Kubrat Pulev must complete a sexual harassment course and pay a $2,500 fine if he is to have his ban for kissing a female reporter ‘without her consent’ lifted.
Pulev, a former world heavyweight title challenger on the hunt for another shot, was suspended by the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) until July after kissing Jennifer Ravalo, a female reporter with the Las Vegas Daily News, following his seventh-round stoppage of Bogdan Dinu in March.
At Tuesday’s CSAC hearing, Pulev apologised to Ravalo for his behaviour and the commission decided unanimously that he would be able to reapply to have his boxing licence reinstated should he meet the conditions by July 22.
Until the fine has been paid and the sexual harassment course completed, Pulev will not be allowed to fight anywhere in North America. He was also warned that any similar offences in the future could result in a lifetime ban.
Given the social media-led furore that followed Kiss-gate, Pulev can probably count himself lucky.