DEONTAY WILDER did not want to talk. He was terse, almost angry, when speaking to the British press ahead of the press conference to announce his July 24 WBC title challenge against Tyson Fury in Las Vegas.
This will be the third fight the two heavyweights have shared. After a controversial draw in their first encounter, Fury emphatically stopped the American last year in Wilder’s first professional defeat. But that has left Wilder simmering with resentment.
“I hate him,” he said of Fury. “I don’t think nothing of him. Bad blood there will always be. Bad blood.”
That enmity was only compounded by Fury’s team’s very public negotiations to make a fight with Anthony Joshua this summer instead. Wilder’s representatives had to enforce his contracted third fight with Fury through an arbitration.
“They should have got me early but they ran. They tried to dodge me. They did me wrong when I helped him and his family out. I put money in his pocket. I guess being a coward is his thing. I didn’t see none of you write about it,” Wilder said. “We were very confident because we knew we were in the right.
“With that being said, silence is golden. We kept our silence. It wasn’t hard to do.”
His manager Shelly Finkel added, “They were going for the bigger fight they felt, they didn’t want to honour the contract that they had signed, that they had agreed to. They kept pushing it back.
“Deontay was ready, willing and able to fight without an audience and then the Joshua fight looked like it could happen and they tried to get out of the contract. That’s the bottom line and that’s how it was seen in the arbitration.”
Wilder blamed former trainer Mark Breland for throwing in the towel in that fight, a decision which many other observers lauded Breland for. Now Wilder has brought in a former sparring partner Malik Scott as his trainer.
“A lot things are going to be different,” Wilder explained. “I’ve been training very hard. My mind is very violent.
“Whatever he [Fury] does I’ll have an answer for, just like answering the phone when it rings.”
If Wilder is victorious, he’ll be looking for the winner of Anthony Joshua’s next fight and the other three major heavyweight titles. “The mission is still the same,” he says. “It never changed. One champion, one face, one name.”