By Manouk Akopyan
SANTA MONICA, California—Deontay Wilder has traded punches with Wladimir Klitschko on various occasions during sparring sessions in year’s past, but the undefeated American has never traded words with the Ukrainian on how the former heavyweight champion unceremoniously lost to Tyson Fury in 2015.
That will soon change. Wilder said Monday that he and his team plan to pick Klitschko’s brain on what to expect from the British boxer during their December 1 meeting at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
“We’re just going along with what we know, but that’s something that we may do,” Wilder said. “I won’t say that it’s something I’ll automatically do. I’d be lying if I said that. But that’s something my trainer Jay Deas might find interest in. [Klitschko] probably wouldn’t even want to talk about it though.”
When Wilder was asked what he’d do differently than Klitschko to create a winning formula against Fury, he said that he’s going to “have a killer instinct and actually throw punches.”
I think Klitschko thinks about that moment all of the time. Fury is not a low-caliber opponent, but when you’re a champion like Klitschko was and you don’t throw half of the punches that you’re known to throw, that’s going to fuck with you. I don’t care who you are,” Wilder said.
Wilder said that he doesn’t want to have any excuses or regrets on his end when he finally faces Fury—with or without the pre-fight chat with Klitschko.
“If something negative happens to me in that ring, I want to say that ‘I gave it my all. I gave it my best. I didn’t leave anything behind,’” he said. “Things like that will haunt you for the rest of your life.”
Fury outclassed the Canastota-bound Klitschko in a unanimous decision victory three years ago before his life spiraled out of control to due to drugs, depression and obesity. After two tune-up fights against lesser opponents this summer, Fury is now one win away from officially reclaiming his stake in the division.
Wilder, however, said that he couldn’t determine if Fury was ready and fully rehabilitated to be making such an attempt.
“Only he can answer that question. We all have heard about what he went through. Only he knows the magnitude of what it meant to him,” he said. “He could be lying for all we know. This could be part of his build-up for the fight. We know he’s crazy—and he’s a liar as well too.”
Asked to further clarify his comments about Fury being a liar, Wilder chose to stay mum instead.
When the subject switched to Antony Joshua and the prospects of facing the British heavyweight in 2019 after their contract talks fell off earlier this fall, Wilder was curt and to the point.
"He’s a coward, and that’s that,” he said. “I don't have a message to Anthony Joshua, it's all about Tyson Fury. I feel like a killer. I'm transformed into a killer."