By Keith Idec
Deontay Wilder won’t hesitate to tell you about his pulverizing power or why he is the best heavyweight in the world.
Don’t take that to mean that the supremely confident WBC champion isn’t well aware of his weaknesses. Wilder understands that any boxer is beatable, particularly within the dangerous division where gigantic, strong opponents attempt to knock you unconscious.
Wilder, who’ll defend his title against Cuban southpaw Luis Ortiz on Saturday night, discussed his vulnerabilities during a radio interview this week with ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith.
“I train for everything,” Wilder said. “People ask me what’s my flaws? Everything is my flaws. I don’t just think that I’m just this untouchable guy, although I speak with positivity and I believe strongly in myself. Of course I have a lot of flaws, but I’m definitely here. And it’s the saying, if it ain’t broken, then why fix it?
“To others that’s on the outside, looking in, of course they’re gonna see the fight differently. But inside of the ring, my view is different from what other people see. I see different things than other people see. My world is so different from what other people see on the outside. It’s just day and night.”
Detractors have criticized Wilder for lacking technique, having bad balance and swinging wildly at times. His technical flaws aside, the undefeated Wilder has won 38 of his 39 professional fights by knockout and is at least in position to secure an eight-figure payday for a heavyweight title unification fight against British superstar Anthony Joshua (20-0, 20 KOs), the IBF/IBO/WBA champ.
“When it comes to the heavyweight division, I’m definitely at the top,” Wilder said. “Ain’t nobody knocking guys out like I’m doing. I don’t do TKOs. I’m strictly a KO fighter. I don’t have to have a ref to step in at times to stop my fights. You know immediately – the way I hit a guy and the way he falls, whether he’s shivering on the [canvas] or whether he’s sitting there, looking like he’s dead for a couple of seconds, that was a Deontay Wilder event. And that’s what I do.”
Showtime will air Wilder’s title defense against Miami’s Ortiz (28-0, 24 KOs, 2 NC) as the main event of a doubleheader from Barclays Center. The telecast is set to begin at 9 p.m. ET with a 12-round rematch between Andre Dirrell (26-2, 16 KOs), of Flint, Michigan, and Venezuela’s Jose Uzcategui (26-2, 22 KOs) for the IBF interim super middleweight title.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.