By Keith Idec
NEW YORK – Deontay Wilder would like to weigh 245 pounds for his inevitable rematch with Tyson Fury.
The WBC heavyweight champion understands, of course, that adding 30-plus pounds between their title bouts probably isn’t realistic. Wilder still wants to be noticeably heavier than the 212½ pounds he weighed for his 12-round split draw with Fury on December 1 at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Wilder was bothered when he stepped on an unofficial scale the night of their fight and came in at only 209 pounds, roughly 50 fewer than the 6-feet-9 Fury. The 6-feet-7 Wilder hadn’t weighed lower than 209 pounds for a fight since he was 207¼ pounds for his pro debut 10 years ago.
As heavy-handed as he is, the 33-year-old Wilder (40-0-1, 39 KOs) doesn’t want to continue giving away so much weight when he faces big, strong opponents.
“Yeah, we gonna adjust the weight,” Wilder said during a recent gathering with reporters. “We gonna do a lot of things. You know, especially with the weight. Because these guys have out-weighed me the majority of my career. You know, I never worried about weight because I have the power to substitute for it. I have devastating power that these guys don’t have. So I never worried about weight, because I felt like weight is just an image.
“At the end of the day, how many times, over and over again, have guys out-weighed me and they were left on their back? None of them could put me on my back, being so [light] of a fighter. That’ll just tell you everything. These guys can’t put me on the ground, but I can put them on the ground, and I know that.”
Why, then, would Wilder fix what isn’t broken?
“Just because of my team,” Wilder said. “My team want me to do it, and we work as a team. So me and [co-manager] Shelly [Finkel] talked about this and of course I’m gonna do what I wanna do. But I went back and said, ‘You know what? If y’all wanna see certain things, then I’m gonna give it to you.’ I’m never the one’s that just solely sold on what I wanna do. There’s certain things, but we work as a team and we’ve been working for this long and if it’s adjustments to be made, I’m willing to do that, just to see.”
The highest Wilder weighed for any of his 41 professional fights is 229 pounds. He came in at 229 for his second-round knockout of Damon McCreary in September 2012 and his ninth-round knockout of Eric Molina in June 2015.
Wilder realizes it’s “gonna take some time” to move up in weight.
“My goal was always to be 245,” Wilder said. “That’s what my goal has always been. But somebody’s gonna get hurt. If weight brings big-man power, and I already had the power and the speed, somebody gonna get hurt. So if people wanna see me put on weight and someone get hurt, then so be it. But you never wanna see no one like Adonis Stevenson. I’m always thinking about him and I tell people all the time – we risk our lives in the ring. We risk our lives. And I know I have the power to hurt anyone – anyone.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.