By Manouk Akopyan
SANTA MONICA, California—To help engrain a lasting image of Tyson Fury’s ringsmanship in Deontay Wilder’s memory bank, the American boxer has tapped sparring partners who can mimic the unconventional fighting style of the British lineal heavyweight champion of the world.
Wilder admitted Monday that it’s been difficult to find the right mix of herky-jerky ring mates for his training camp, but one in particular who he’s picked that’s helped considerably is Malik Scott, his longtime friend and onetime opponent that he knocked out in 2014.
“I don’t know what Fury’s weaknesses are. I’ve never dealt with anyone who possesses what he has,” Wilder said. “I train for anyone as if they were the champion. That’s what keeps me sharp, and gets me up in the morning. I know that there are a lot of hungry lions who want my spot. We’re just accomplishing that we’ve set to do. Everything that we’re preparing for, I want to execute—and more.”
During his training camp in the comforts of his hometown in Alabama, Wilder said that Scott is giving him all of the unusual tactics and angles that have become Fury’s trademark, with also a chance at honing in on his own.
Although the pay per view fight takes place on December 1 in Los Angeles, Wilder pontificated that he’s prepared to fight this week.
“I’m going to do things he doesn’t expect me to do,” Wilder said. “Fury thinks I’m going to just be following around him with a right hand—that’s stupid. There are a lot of things that are going to be a surprise to him once he steps into the ring. Everybody witnesses it when they fight me.”
Wilder offered verbal teasers to what’s in store next month, specifically to his jab—a punch that he thinks doesn’t get enough credit—his left hook, and the overall body punches that he plans to pull off come fight night.
“I love it when they just talk about my right hand, because if that’s what they’re talking about, then that’s what they’re preparing for and looking for, and that’s when my surprises come,” said Wilder.
“I’m a hungry champion, and I’m going to stay that way till the end of my career. It’s been hard trying to reach [PPV status], especially in America. But I’m here. I can finally smile and say, ‘I’m here.’”