Deontay Wilder Exclusive: Talks Style, Power, & Joshua

By Caryn A. Tate on March 2, 2018
Deontay Wilder Exclusive: Talks Style, Power, & Joshua
“Let’s see. Let's see if he really the best. It’s false. We know it’s false. He ain't the best.”

“I think what makes me special as a fighter is that, the things I can do in the ring, a normal fighter can’t do or a tall fighter isn’t supposed to do…”

“I think what makes me special as a fighter is that, the things I can do in the ring, a normal fighter can’t do or a tall fighter isn’t supposed to do,” Deontay Wilder said. “I’m not supposed to be as fast as I am. To be able to be so agile, so mobile, to work at different angles. The Euro Step I did in the ring, creating things that’s never been seen.”

Thirty-two-year-old WBC heavyweight world champion Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder (39-0, 38 KOs) knows he has an unconventional way of fighting. He also sees that as a strength, not a weakness, and thinks his unorthodox style is part of what makes him special. When discussing his opponents finding sparring partners to help them prepare for the champion, Wilder said, “You’re gonna have to have a guy with speed, a guy with power, a guy that’s tall, a guy that’s awkward. There’s not gonna be one fighter that possesses all of those things. Especially in the heavyweight division. There ain’t no way a tall guy like myself is supposed to be doing the things I’m doing. And the way I’m doing it—I’m so long, it seems weird.”

Aside from his speed and awkward style, Deontay possesses undeniable power. All of his wins except for one have come by knockout, though he has stopped every opponent he’s been in with (Bermane Stiverne, who lost a lopsided decision to Wilder back in 2015, was stopped in the first round of their rematch this past November).

“I was born with it,” Wilder said about his one-punch knockout power. “Just like the killer instinct—I was born with it. You’re either born with it or you’re not. I just thank God that I’m born with it. I ask myself that many times—I sit back and I’m like, Why am I so powerful, why am I so strong? I look at the techniques and stuff like that, but when I look back on my life, as a young boy, growing up and getting into fights, and I’ve always had power. I always was that small kid, but very strong. It’s just something that’s in me, and I build on top of it. I don’t have to lift weights, I don’t really have to do a full training workout, and I still would possess the power. I still would be able to have the attributes that I have in the ring. But I still continue to train hard, I continue to wake up and do the right things, because I know people look up to me. I can’t show them the things that I know I can get away with because my body’s special, because they’re gonna feel like they can do the same thing, which they can’t. So I still do the proper things, the right things to put myself in a stronger position for when I go to war.”

Deontay faces top challenger Luis Ortiz (28-0, 24 KOs) this Saturday on Showtime from Barclays Center in Brooklyn. It’s a mouth-watering matchup that boxing fans have wanted to see for quite a while. The two were originally scheduled to fight last November, but Ortiz tested positive for two banned substances, chlorothiazide and hydrochlorothiazide, and the bout was canceled. Wilder instead fought Stiverne again as previously mentioned, and Ortiz faced Daniel Martz in December; now, the WBC world champion and the #3 ranked challenger will finally get in the ring on Saturday.

Despite his height, Wilder weighs less than most heavyweights of this era. In his most recent matches, he has weighed an average of 223 pounds, while Ortiz is about 20 pounds heavier. The Alabama native isn’t concerned about the difference in weight, though, and is used to it at this point.

“I tell people all the time when it comes to weight and size, I’d rather be the part than look the part,” Wilder said. “You can’t measure my heart. It’s huge—that’s why I have the confidence I have.”

Deontay spoke frankly about his last bout versus Stiverne and where things stand at this point. “I felt like the king that I am,” he said about the night he stopped Stiverne. “It was a blessing for me. I look at all my fights as a blessing, to be able to knock these guys out. I can officially say that there’s never been no fighter I’ve faced that I’ve never knocked out. I’m just looking forward to so much more in the division, to unifying, and everything that comes with it.

“I look back on the [first] Stiverne fight. It was a big moment in my life. I was 32-0 coming in, I’d knocked everybody out and people doubted me, saying Stiverne was a big test. I wanted to knock him out then. But when I look back on it, it wouldn’t have meant nothing by me knocking Stiverne out at that moment in time. If I stay patient, let the time pass by, God’s gonna bless me with the right opportunity. And [then it] comes along, two years later—I fight the same opponent, beat him in devastating fashion, and get the knockout. And look what it created: a superstar overnight. It broke the internet. It seemed like overnight success to some people.

“I’m blessed. I’m just happy with where things are and where they’re going. Because I really want to show people that I am the best in the world. I know I am.”

On top of Ortiz, Wilder also has the talented unified title holder Anthony Joshua as a potential future opponent. Joshua also has his own contest coming up on March 30, when he faces WBO world champion Joseph Parker. If both Wilder and Joshua win their fights, a unification between the two of them would be an excellent matchup for the sport and the fans.

But in media interviews, Joshua and his promoter, Eddie Hearn, haven’t exactly indicated facing Wilder is a top priority. Deontay isn’t worried about their statements, though. “No matter how long they hold out on this fight, people are still gonna want to see it. And it’s gonna be more pressure on them, the more they keep waiting. So it’s just a matter of time. We’re not chasin’ no one. We’re not beggin’ for no fight. We’re gonna let the fans do that for us. Because [Joshua’s team] know what the deal is. And the pressure is on them at the end of the day.”

Hearn has gone so far as to say Wilder has “priced himself out” of a fight with Joshua. Deontay was quick to respond to this. “He don’t want the fight,” he said simply. “It’s another way of trying to get out of the fight. He can talk about splits and popularity all he wants. He’s wasting his time.”

Wilder feels strongly about unifying the division. “In the heavyweight division, it’s important to have an undisputed champion. Because it’s a small division—we don’t have that many guys in this division. We don’t go down in weight, and we ain’t goin’ up in weight. So the belts stick with us. So it’s very important. The smaller divisions, they can unify the division and move up in weight. It’s like, hey, I did it, I get a belt and then I move up in weight and try to do the same thing. The heavyweight division is not that case.

“That’s why I’m pursuing this, that’s why I think this should happen, and also for the sport of boxing, it’s the biggest. The fans done made so much noise about their Anthony Joshua in the UK, so hey, let’s see. Let’s see if he really the best. It’s just false. We know it’s false. He ain’t the best. He know he’s not the best. His managers know he’s not the best. The fans know he’s not the best, and when you know that, it’s gonna bring a fear factor.

“Make the fight happen. Let’s see who’s the best.”

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  1. Pete The Sneak 03:38pm, 03/04/2018

    ...turned out to be a fun fight indeed…Peace…

  2. Balaamsass 06:30am, 03/03/2018

    If he didn’t have those small hands he’d be in the NBA….he might be riding the bench but he’d be there! Actually small hands is no real handicap in this sport….easier to make a fist! Vitali Klitschko’s hands at 6’8” looked more like a pianist’s than a bone crusher’s!

  3. Pete The Sneak 01:28pm, 03/02/2018

    Nice interview with Wilder Caryn…Thanks… This should be a fun fight indeed…Peace.

  4. Balaamsass 10:15am, 03/02/2018

    He’s right on in just about everything he says…..of course he’s a physical freak….at least he’s that self aware and he’s willing to admit it…. just like others in this so called “sport” and other athletic competitions who have natural physical advantages over their competitors. Mark Breland is the perfect trainer for him because at 6’2” with a big punch Mark had those same advantages as did Bob Foster for example.Lot’s of talk here about about “heart’ and being a “warrior” and of course about everybody who steps into the ring having “guts” when it all really boils down to one thing…..physicality! All things being equal which they never are having a thicker skull and more quick twitch muscle than your opponent trump having “heart” and being a “Warrior” 99.9% of the time!

  5. Balaamsass 09:05am, 03/02/2018

    This time both guys have live opponents unlike Stiverne whose pulse was so low he had an episode of syncope! The best thing for boxing is for both Parker and Ortiz to pull upsets and for Wlad to come back and whip Big Baby’s ass to a frazzle! Taking bets on whether Wlad will come back before SOG.