By Luke Furman
Heavyweight contender Deontay Wilder (25-0, 25KOs) is looking to raise the stakes in 2013. The boxer is going to return on December 15th against a yet to be finalized opponent at the Los Angeles Sports Center in California. Wilder's handlers have been taking his career slow. Although Wilder captured an Olympic bronze medal in 2008, his amateur experience was very minimal.
"I definitely believe that I'm the future of the heavyweight division," Wilder said.
"I only had 35 amateur bouts and we wanted to take things slow in the industry. Next year will be my year and I'm ready to mix it in with whoever."
Wilder has gained some very valuable experience by joining WBA/IBO/WBO/IBF heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko at his training camp in Austria. Wilder's work saw him elevated to being Wladimir's main sparring partner.
"This has been a great camp for me...getting in there and sparring with the champ. Just to be here, just to see where I fit in, in the food chain. I've been doing a great job," Wilder said. "I became the number one sparring partner here, mainly because of my performance in the ring and the things that I was able to do."
Wladimir is training for Polish giant Mariusz Wach, who Wilder expects the champion to beat by knockout.
"I think it's going to be a knockout. I think Wach is going to put up a great fight. He's going to come to fight, he's going to be ready, but I predict a knockout," Wilder said.
One fighter who Wilder wants to face is fellow unbeaten Bryant Jennings (15-0, 7KOs).
"Maybe next year I'll fight Jennings. I want Jennings. There are a lot of heavyweights who have undefeated records and somebody's "0" has to go. I definitely want Jennings," Wilder said.
Luke Furman covers boxing for bokser.org