Deontay Wilder was gracious with his words but kindly reminded the world of the destruction he can still cause in boxing’s most storied division.
A clash of former heavyweight titlists pits Wilder versus New Zealand’s Joseph Parker, which will anchor an eight-fight ‘Day Of Reckoning’ super card on December 23 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The longtime former WBC heavyweight title claimant has fought just three minutes worth of ring time in the past two years, a first-round knockout of Robert Helenius last October 15 in Brooklyn, New York.
The quick hit is just a part of Wilder’s extensive legacy as one of the most prolific knockout artists in heavyweight—and boxing—history. It’s what he plans to deliver in December versus Parker, a former WBO titlist whom he tremendously respects but has every intention of leaving him on the business end of an early night.
“I’m just ready to go. When people come to see heavyweight boxing, they come to see excitement,” Wilder noted during the kickoff press conference Wednesday at OVO Arena Wembley in London. “Most of all, they come to see knockouts. One thing for sure, when I come that’s what I come to deliver.”
Wilder has dropped or stopped every opponent he’s ever faced through 15 years and 46 pro bouts. The only man to defeat him is reigning lineal/WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury (34-0-1, 24KOs), whom Wilder has floored four times but is 0-2-1 in their memorable trilogy.
Fury is one of just two fighters to force Wilder to go to the scorecards, when they fought to a twelve-round, split decision draw in their December 2018 meeting in Los Angeles, California. Bermane Stiverne is the only other fighter to do so, when Wilder won the WBC title via unanimous decision in their January 2015 meeting. Their November 2017 rematch ended inside of one round, one of 42 highlight reel knockouts racked up by the Alabama slammer.
Parker (33-3, 23KOs) was stopped just once through 36 pro bouts. It came at the hands of then-unbeaten Joe Joyce (15-2, 14KOs) in their interim WBO heavyweight title fight last September 24 in Manchester, England. He has since won three straight, including a third-round knockout of Simon Kean on October 28 in Riyadh to position himself for this opportunity.
The former WBO titleholder previously went the distance in a loss to Anthony Joshua, who’d stopped everyone he’d faced prior to their March 2018 WBA, IBF and WBO unification bout in Cardiff, Wales. Parker also went all twelve rounds in a loss to veteran contender Dillian Whyte. He has outlasted several other notable heavyweights among his 33 wins and shares a camp with Fury since relocating to Morecambe, England.
That said, the puncher he faces is unlike another that has appeared before him.
“Come December 23, I’m coming to do the same, coming for the same mission,” noted Wilder. “I’m coming to get my titles back and unify the division. I got everything I need in life. But to come back and finish what I started is going to mean everything to me.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. X (formerly Twitter): @JakeNDaBox