Deontay Wilder Exclusive: On Joshua, Ortiz, and the Heavyweight Division

By Caryn A. Tate on April 26, 2018
Deontay Wilder Exclusive: On Joshua, Ortiz, and the Heavyweight Division
Wilder is the first to admit that his style is not a traditional or familiar one. (Getty Images)

“I recreated boxing with my style. I have a new style that I’ve introduced to boxing, and it’s not going nowhere…”

As WBC heavyweight world champion Deontay Wilder (40-0, 39 KOs) revealed to me shortly after his March 3 bout with Luis Ortiz, he and his team made the decision not to travel to the UK to do guest commentary for Sky Sports during the Anthony Joshua vs. Joseph Parker bout that took place on March 31. When Joshua made the statement that he wouldn’t allow Wilder into the ring following his bout, in an effort to build hype for a potential match-up between Joshua and Wilder, the Alabama native spoke about his thoughts and why the situation was so disappointing.

“[Eddie] Hearn’s talking about wanting me to build my profile and hyping up the fight, but what better way to hype a fight than to get in the ring? That’s been going on for years and years in boxing,” Wilder said.

If Joshua continues to postpone the fight, Deontay stated that it’s his plan to continue fighting the best opposition available, and wait until fans essentially shame Joshua into making the fight. “That’s our idea,” Wilder said. “They’re only fooling the British fans. Some of them are woke and well aware of what’s going on and they don’t like it. I get both sides. I get that side that says they hope I knock him out, they can’t stand him. I just got a recent fan that told me they know I want the fight, that most of the British fans are aware of that, and they know the lies that’s being told. But some of them are dealing with it because they feel like they have power over America now. For ten years they’ve been down and out, we always beat them, and now they feel like they have the power. They’re riding on their high horse and they don’t want to let it go yet.”

As far as his fight with Luis Ortiz on March 3, which turned out to be a thriller with lots of back-and-forth action, Wilder clarified what he took from the bout. “Some ask the question what did I learn from that fight. And I tell ‘em, I didn’t learn nothing I didn’t already know about myself. I knew that I could do all these things that I displayed, overcoming adversity and all those different things. I knew I could do this. I’ve been speaking it—that’s why I say I’m the baddest man on the planet.

“So when I actually do it, it’s not a surprise to me. It may be a surprise to others, because they didn’t believe in me fully like I believe in myself. Which is okay. Because I must show people—I must get people to believe. And that night I did that.”

Wilder has an unorthodox style and doesn’t utilize some of boxing’s fundamental tactics in a conventional way. But one traditional fundamental tactic he has down pat is the use of distance. Standing 6’7” tall and sporting a __” reach, Deontay is well aware of what his physicality provides him with.

“I know that it’s one of my advantages, and I like to use it,” he said. “Some fighters have an advantage and don’t use it, or don’t know how to use it well. I’m able to take everything I have and apply it to my fights. I know that’s my biggest asset, having long range and being able to keep them at bay. You know, my defense is my athleticism. Being able to jump out the way of punches and just move, jump around. It plays a big part in my game plan and the game inside the ring.

“So I do it very well, and it works. I throw punches from different positions. I place them in different spots. Even when it’s only expected to come from a certain type of angle—I throw it from all different angles.”

Like many top fighters, Wilder uses the criticism he hears from some fans and media as motivation. “I just call it proving people wrong. I love when people say what I can’t do. And I’m gonna prove ‘em wrong.”

Wilder is the first to admit that his style is not a traditional or familiar one. “It helps me out. I got an unorthodox style. To a lot of people they’ll say I do a lot of things wrong. But within that…I win. That’s the thing about it. I win. A lot of fighters that do the right things in boxing, they still lose. So go figure.

“I recreated boxing with my style. I have a new style that I’ve introduced to boxing, and it’s not going nowhere. I’m sticking and staying around, and I’ll be around for a long time.”

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  1. Balaamsass 06:00am, 04/26/2018

    A year from now?! 2019?! Why not 2020 while you’re at it?! This one does not need to percolate even one minute more! Even Sweet asshat Brit fans are starting to smell the burnt coffee! They can figure out what Wilder would have done to Takam and Parker….oh yes they can….they’re not as sappy as they sound when they’re three sheets and paying homage to Neil Diamond….which reminds….what the fuk does Sweet Caroline have to do with this brain bashing “sport”/! Moreover, If either Klitschko was champion this fight would have been made! Christ! If Fury was champion this fight would have been made!