Opinion | May 20 2019

Deontay Wilder: ‘I am the most dangerous man in the world’

But Deontay Wilder needs the Anthony Joshua fight or the Tyson Fury rematch to live up to his own claims, writes John Dennen
Deontay Wilder

WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder does have flaws. He’s reckless, he gets caught. But the terrible power of his punching is a tremendous equaliser. He showed against Dominic Breazeale on Saturday in New York that he can deliver that force with frightening efficiency.

“That’s what makes me the most dangerous man in the world,” Wilder declared after the fight. “I’m faster than what people think [but] when I settle myself down and really use my intelligence in the ring, magic happens.”

“I know I have tremendous power. That’s no secret,” he added. “Those are the scariest ones when you don’t feel it, you just know it… I’m a dangerous guy. My hands are lethal.

“Now we move on the next step.”

Which raises the next big question, who is he going to fight next? The world, of course, want to see him rematch Tyson Fury or fight Anthony Joshua for the undisputed crown. He has other, far less appealing options for the boxing audience, in the form Adam Kownacki and Luis Ortiz. “I don’t know what’s next,” Wilder mused. “I just want the best fights possible. I’ve tried to prove myself for a very long time.”

“We’ve got to make the big fights happen. If you lose you can come back,” he insisted but added, “Patience is very important in this sport.”

His manager Shelly Finkel, ominously, sounded the same note caution. “He was willing to fight Joshua for very little comparative to what he was worth and when someone wants to make a fight, they make it. When we wanted to get Fury, we overpaid him,” Finkel said. “Deontay is a man who doesn’t make excuses.

deontay wilder

“I’m in very close negotiations with John Skipper [the executive chairman of DAZN], I’m going to see him next week, I’m in constant touch with Top Rank, all of those fights are going to happen, whether they happen next or two fights down the line, you will see all of them in the near future and they’ll be on terms that are acceptable to Deontay.”

The long, seemingly endless, wait for what we need to see looks set to continue. “I’m very happy with my accomplishments and defending my title for the ninth time. That puts me up with the legends in the sport,” says Wilder. But he can only make that claim truly if he fights, and beats, the best available opposition. The Joshua and Fury fights are exactly what Wilder needs.

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