DEONTAY WILDER plans on sending a message to the heavyweight division when he defends his WBC world title against Artur Szpilka on January 16.
The unbeaten American makes the third defence of his title at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York against the tough Pole who was stopped in 10 by Bryant Jennings last year.
While Tyson Fury is recognised as the world’s perennial heavyweight, Wilder believes he has the make up of a champion also.
“I’m looking for a grand show. It’s going to be a great performance to kick off 2016. This is going to be a huge year for me. I’m knocking Szpilka out and I’m sending a message to everyone who stands in my way,” he said.
“I’m the guy who has everything it takes to be heavyweight champion of the world. It’s not just about being great inside the ring, it’s about being able to do great things outside of the ring. Not everyone has that. I love to be out there with the people.”
Wilder’s mandatory is currently Russia’s Alexander Povetkin – whose sole professional loss came at the hands of Wladimir Klitschko – but the WBC granted Wilder a voluntary defence before facing Povetkin.
While Szpilka is yet another underwhelming foe for Wilder – whose past two defences came against Eric Molina and Johann Duhaupas – the champion had a few choice words for Artur.
“Don’t get too overwhelmed by the opportunity, Szpilka. You still have to do something with it,” he said.
“Once I knock Szpilka out, I want all the Polish fans to come on the “Bronze Bomber” train as I bring the heavyweight division back to the top.
“I don’t care who it is. It doesn’t matter who is in the ring with me. I love a fighter who’s not scared because it gives me the motive to knock him out. I don’t play around because I mean business.”