Johnathon Banks, who took over the training duties of former heavyweight king Wladimir Klitschko after Emanuel Steward passed away in 2012, has denied a recent claim that Deontay Wilder was knocked out during a sparring session with Klitschko.

In a recent interview with Sky Sports, top rated heavyweight contender Dillian Whyte, who Klitschko also used as a sparring partner, claimed to have witnessed a sparring session where the former unified champion knocked Wilder out cold.

"I've seen him getting knocked out," Whyte told Sky Sports. "Wladimir knocked him out. It wasn't no knockdown, he was knocked cold. Properly twitching as well. That's why they probably didn't want him to fight Wlad, because Wlad was going to fight him as a pro and Wilder never fancied it the whole time."

Banks personally secured Wilder for the training camp in question - and denies Wilder was knocked out.

However, he does confirm that Klitschko dropped Wilder during sparring.

 "I'm the one who picked Wilder and all the other sparring partners to come," Banks said to ThaBoxingVoice .

"Did Wilder get knocked out cold in sparring by Wladimir? No, that's the truth it didn't happen. Did he get dropped? Yes he did."

Whyte is the mandatory challenger to Wilder's WBC world title.

Wilder is scheduled to defend his title against Tyson Fury on February 22 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. There is a rematch clause that would see a third fight in 2020 - regardless of the outcome of the second meeting. They fought to a controversial split draw in the first meeting in December 2018.

The winner of those fights must make a mandatory defense against Whyte, who holds the WBC's interim-title, by February of 2021. Whyte is targeting a ring return on a date in April.