By Lem Satterfield
Deontay Wilder plans to supplant English counterpart Anthony Joshua as the world’s No. 1 heavyweight by stopping Joshua’s undefeated countryman and lineal champion Tyson Fury on December 1 at Staples Center in Las Angeles.
The 6-foot-7 “Bronze Bomber” (40-0, 39 KOs), of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, vowed during a Thursday conference call to secure his eighth straight knockout in as many WBC title defenses against the 6-foot-9 Fury (27-0, 19 KOs) on Showtime Pay-Per-View (9 p.m ET/ 6 p. ET) after failed negotiations to make a unification bout against Joshua.
“In my honest opinion, whoever wins this [Wilder-Fury] can call themselves the best heavyweight champion of the world,” said Wilder, 33. “Let’s face it, we don’t’ have to keep going over this over and over again about Anthony Joshua.”
Coming off a two-knockdown, 10th-round stoppage of previously unbeaten southpaw Luis Ortiz in March, Wilder was ringside in April 2017 at London’s Wembley Stadium as the 6-foot-6 Joshua (22-0, 21 KOs) stopped 41-year-old Wladimir Klitschko.
Joshua rose from the canvas in the sixth round and registered knockdowns in the fifth and last rounds of his third defense and 11th-round TKO of Klitschko.
But Joshua’s victory came 17 months after a 39-year-old Klitschko was dethroned by the 30-year-old Fury, a unanimous decision making “The Gypsy King” the lineal and IBF/WBA/WBO champion.
“Anthony Joshua had his opportunity and his chance to prove and see if he was the goods, or was he spoiled milk?. They didn’t want to accept the challenge because they already know what I possess. They know my mindset and what I’ m able to do. They know that he’s not on my level," said Wilder, of Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
"I don't think that [Joshua] has the heart and the mentality to show that he's the best, and even if he does, then his people don't. But that's enough of him. It ain't about him. It's about Tyson Fury. We are the best. And after this fight, you'll see who is the best. One champion, one face, one name."
In September, Joshua, 29, was buckled and suffered a first-round bloody nose during a two-knockdown seventh-round stoppage of former titleholder Alexander Povetkin (34-2, 24 KOs). Povetkin followed Joshua’s unanimous decision in March that added previously unbeaten Joseph Parker's WBO crown to his IBF and WBA titles.
“Of course, [Joshua] done beat the guys that they’ve put in front of him and tried to hype the media up like they [opponents] were bigger than what they really were,” said Wilder, a 2008 Olympic bronze medalist..
“So he’s had his opportunities, and as far as I’m concerned, this [fight] right here will tell the world who is the best of the best because I don’t feel that Joshua can beat me, nor can he beat Fury nor the second-best heavyweight in the world, [Luis] Ortiz. I strong personal opinion and strong feeling about that.”