February 9, 2017
February 9, 2017
Deontay Wilder

Stephanie Trapp/Showtime

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TIME is ticking down until Deontay Wilder’s WBC heavyweight title defence against replacement challenger Gerald Washington on February 25. He reminded his upcoming foe of his chilling power. “When I knocked out Artur Szpilka, I thought he was dead for a few seconds. That’s just from natural, Alabama country power,” Wilder said.

“There are a lot of heavyweights who say they want me, but at the end of the day, do they really want this? Everybody knows that Deontay Wilder comes with power,” he continued. “I fight for the people, that’s what I’m all about. I like to give the fans a great fight at a reasonable price. Each fight I’m in I’m always exciting and well-prepared. I come to give people what they want to see when they see a heavyweight, and that’s a knockout.

“Gerald Washington is a big guy I’ve seen fight a few times. I don’t think he’s ready to fight me, but he thinks he is. We’ll find out on February 25. I chose him because he’s always been respectful while always wanting the opportunity. He’s going to come ready to fight.”

Wilder insists that he’s ready. “My preparation stays the same, even with the opponent change. I’ve been in situations where I’ve had to change a lot after an opponent dropped out, but Gerald being as good as he is and similar to Wawrzyk makes it easier. They have different styles but we’ll work on how to break him down,” he said. “I’m still training while I’m here in New York. I have Mark Breland here with me helping me get a lot of good work in. I’m staying focused. When February 25 comes, I’ll be ready.

“I definitely feel 100 percent, but we’ll see what it’s going to feel like in the ring when I apply this force to a human skull. When I’m in the gym doing work, I feel great.”

He appears recovered from the injuries he sustained while dispatching Chris Arreola. “I never really let my hand properly heal until this injury, because the bicep takes longer to heal than the hand. The time gave me an opportunity to really improve my left hand. I feel more polished now than I’ve ever been,” he said. “”It’s all about adjusting. Each and every time I go through something inside or outside of the ring, it just makes me better and better.

“You have to have patience in this sport. The big fights that people want to see will be coming. I’m not scared of anyone and I won’t run for anyone. My team is on the same page and we’re going to keep working together and moving forward.”