WBC heavyweight champion, Deontay Wilder is looking to make a big statement to open up 2016, as he defends his belt against tough Polish contender Artur Szpilka this weekend. Wilder is undefeated in 35 bouts, and has his sights clearly set on the new IBO/Ring heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, who upset long reigning champion Wladimir Klitschko to end the 2015 year.
In part 1 of my “On The Ropes” boxing radio interview with Deontay Wilder, I discuss with him his upcoming fight with Artur Szpilka and what challenges his opponent brings. Wilder also gives his thoughts on both Alexander Povetkin and Shannon Briggs, and talks about which fighter he would rather face in the ring. Additionally, Deontay talks about the Klitschko-Fury results and if he sees a Wilder vs. Fury clash coming in 2016. Here is what Deontay Wilder had to say.
Jenna J: Deontay what are your thoughts on your opponent Artur Szpilka?
Deontay Wilder: I’m looking forward to coming to New York, especially at the Barclay’s Center, there a lot of rich history in the heavyweight division that has gone on in New York and now I get an opportunity to put my name down in history as well. Artur Szpilka is the opponent I’ll be facing and we’re looking forward to him bringing the Polish community to the fight. I have Polish fans as well, so I’m looking forward to gaining even more after I beat him and knock him out.
Jenna J: From what you have seen of Arther Szpilka, what kind of a challenge does he pose to you?
The only fight that I’ve seen of him is the Bryant Jennings fight and I don’t think too much of him at all. In my eyes he’s just a replacement of the original fighter I was supposed to be fighting on this card, but I respect all of my fighters. I don’t look past none of my opponents that I step into the ring with, I definitely respect them. It is the heavyweight division and anything can happen in that ring, so I’m going in there to handle business and do it in great fashion.
Jenna J: Shannon Briggs and Alexander Povetkin will be ringside for your fight, does that mean anything at all to you?
Deontay Wilder: Not at all, it means not one thing. It definitely doesn’t mean anything to me that Shannon is there, to me he’s just another fan that’s in the audience. But being that Povetkin is my mandatory and I will be facing him next, I’m gonna show him that I’m not playing in 2016. I’m gonna send a message to all the heavyweights in the division, so I hope that he’s very entertained with my actions that I’m going to display on the 16th at the Barclay’s center because it’s gonna be a great one.
I want Povetkin to take a lot of notes and go back and train hard. Right after this fight I’m looking forward to getting right back in if I have no injuries. I’m looking forward to getting back in, that’s what I do, I stay in shape and I stay ready. I don’t need six months, I don’t need five months, I don’t need three months, I don’t even need two, I just really need a month of training to get ready and I’m ready to get back in there.
Jenna J: Do you at all wish that Shannon Briggs was your opponent for this weekend?
Deontay Wilder: At first after my original opponent, Glazkov, fell out, I said, “Hey we’re up here in Brooklyn in New York, what better guy to put on a good show? Let’s do Shannon Briggs.” A lot of fans want to see that for the simple reason that he runs his mouth a lot, he’s been on the social media talking a lot. A lot of people really think that he would beat me but they are out of their mind, they’re crazy. Sometimes people try to provoke you just to see the fight.
I told Shannon a long time ago, “People aren’t laughing with you, they’re laughing at you. You’re too old to be doing what you’re doing with the route that you’re going in.” But like I said, sometimes the loudest person in the crowd is the weakest one, but in his case, he’s loud because he knows he can’t fight in big sanctioned states, like New York, or Vegas. Anything that has a commission where they do full physicals, he can’t pass them, he’s not gonna be able to get licensed for it.
Jenna J: Tyson Fury beat Wladimir Klitschko, what were your thoughts on the fight?
Deontay Wilder: The overall fight was boring, it was definitely boring. It wasn’t one of those types of fights that you expect would happen. Sometimes we get things like that, which we’re not expecting. My thing is, for Wladimir Klitschko, it wasn’t him, it was his body but as a fighter there was something missing from him.
Father time is at the door and he’s knocking, and he’s not going to let him in. He threw no punches, it wasn’t the same guy we usually see in the ring, so we shall see what happens in the rematch. If Klitschko can’t perform at this level no more, then it’s definitely sure that father time is at the door and he should retire.
Jenna J: Now that Tyson Fury is the champion, could you see your paths crossing?
Deontay Wilder: That is the fight that people want badly. Me and Tyson have promoted this fight for like four years now, I think it’s already sold out, people just need the memo of where the fight is gonna be, what time, and what place. That’s what people want to see and I’m looking forward to it, he says that he wants to fight, and I’m always serious about what I say, the goal is to be the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world.
I’m always down and he said that once he gets Klitschko again then he wants me, so I hope that he sticks by his words because I’m serious about what I say. It’s time, and whoever unifies the division will be the ultimate king and ruler of the division, and that’s when boxing in the heavyweight division will get more alive.
Boxing has risen now with all of the activities that have been going on in the heavyweight division and it makes me excited too. Now we got all these belts and we also have the IBF belt lingering around which two other guys will be fighting for, I will also collect that belt sometime this year too. I’m looking forward to it, I’ve been wanting Tyson for a very long time and I think that’s gonna be a hell of a fight. When that happens there’s gonna be a lot of excitement all around, and I think that’s gonna be a fight that people remember for centuries.