By: Sean Crose
Speaking with ES News, returning former heavyweight titlist Deontay Wilder weighed in on the recent high profile matchup between his divisional peers, Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk (a fight Usyk won via decision). “Joshua did exactly what we expected him to do,” the hard hitting Wilder said, “to be cautious and to run out of gas.” As far as Wilder was concerned, Joshua simply doesn’t have the consistent amount of energy required to beat someone of Usyk’s caliber. “He’s got a serious stamina problem,” Wilder said of Joshua. “He has a serious stamina problem…the best man won that night.”
As for much discussed undisputed matchup between Usyk and Tyson Fury, Wilder indicated that Usyk would have his work cut out for him. “I think Fury’s too big for him” Wilder said. “One thing that he’s (Fury’s) got for him, it’s his size.” Still, Wilder wasn’t completely willing to write off Usyk. “But anything’s possible,” he added. “Anything can happen in the business in boxing.” As for the belief that boxing needs a Usyk-Fury fight while boxing fans need a Usyk-Wilder fight, Wilder claimed a match between himself and the undefeated Usyk would benefit both the fans and the sport.
“I think it’s (good) for boxing and for the fans,” Wilder said about a bout with Usyk. “At the end of the day, for boxing and for the fans, you need a special heavyweight, you need an exciting heavyweight.” The showy and colorful Wilder explained that excitement is essential for the sport. “You need it for boxing to keep boxing fans coming,” he said. “They don’t want to see boring shit.” Fans of boxing, Wilder believes, are a top priority. “Without the fans,” he continued, “we wouldn’t be able to generate…it would just be a business.”
The 41-2-1 Alabaman is perhaps the hardest hitter in the history of the heavyweight division. Even when he’s been outskilled by opponents such as Fury or Luis Ortiz, Wilder has still found a way to put them on the mat repeatedly. After losing decisively to Fury two out of three times, however, Wilder has found himself in an odd position with the fanbase. Although the evidence suggests Fury at his best is simply the better fighter of the two, many argue that Wilder could defeat both Usyk and Joshua. Plus, although his behavior was rather strange after his defeats to Fury, Wilder remains a popular and engaging fighter. He’s now set to face Robert Helenius in October.
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