Deontay Wilder faces arguably the toughest test of his 40-fight career when he takes on the former unified champion Tyson Fury in the eighth defence of his WBC crown on December 1 – but confidence is higher around the Bronze Bomber’s camp.
Speaking to BTSport.com, his manager, Lou DiBella, claimed momentum favours Wilder after his thrilling win over Luis Ortiz in March, believing the chance to fight Fury has come along at the perfect moment in the Bronze Bomber’s career.
“We haven’t had a great American heavyweight for a while,” the 58-year-old said.
“Deontay is the American heavyweight champion, and he has had to wait for the chance to have this fight – and so have American boxing fans.
“So for the boxing industry in the United States and for American boxing, the opportunity for our hard-hitting Bronze Bomber, our heavyweight champion, the hardest hitter in the world, the baddest man on the planet - he is finally getting the chance to fight a career-defining fight.”
Beating Fury, the man who outboxed Wladimir Klitschko during a famous win in 2015, would elevate Wilder to the top of the tree in a heavyweight division that has exploded back into life in recent years.
Familiar criticism levelled at the 2008 Olympic bronze medallist is that he has failed to capitalise on his status as heavyweight champion and remains something of an unknown quantity to most except die-hard boxing fans.
But DiBella suggested a win could finally provide Wilder with the platform he has deserved in recent years, adding: “Tyson Fury is a career-defining fight.
“Tyson Fury is the lineal heavyweight champion. When he said ‘I’m not just a challenger, I’m the champion’, he believes that – and he is not wrong.
“On December 1 though, he has got to face the heavyweight champion who has got the Hammer of Thor in his hands and I think on December 1, Tyson Fury is going to feel what it feels like to get knocked out.”
Given Wilder’s almost-unprecedented appetite for a knockout – 39 of his 40 fights have ended prematurely – it should come as little surprise that many favour him to add Fury’s name to an ever-increasing list.
In returning to peak condition and conquering his psychological demons, Fury needs only a win against Wilder to cap a fairy tale comeback that would see him crowned a two-time heavyweight champion.
And DiBella believes the fight has all the makings to become one of the most talked-about in recent boxing history, adding: “I think this is the biggest [transatlantic heavyweight fight].
“Since you had Lennox Lewis and Mike Tyson, when was the last UK vs American heavyweight fight of this significance and magnitude? It’s been a long time.”
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