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Heavyweights – Wilder wants it once and for all, undisputed

Boxing

WASHINGTON – Unbeaten heavyweight Deontay Wilder will have a ringside view of rival champions Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko in their Wembley Stadium unification showdown on Saturday with hopes to fight the winner by December.

The 31-year-old American, who owns the World Boxing Council crown, will serve as a television analyst when Britain’s unbeaten Joshua defends his International Boxing Federation crown and vies for the vacant World Boxing Association title against Klitschko before a sell-out crowd of more than 90 000.

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Deontay Wilder, right, throws a right at Gerald Washington during their WBC heavyweight title boxing bout on February 25. Photo: Albert Cesare, The Montgomery Advertiser via APAnthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko will square off on Saturday. Photo: Brendan McDermid, ReutersDeontay Wilder celebrates after retaining his WBC heavyweight title against Gerald Washington in February. Photo: Albert Cesare, AP

“I’m excited to be going to England,” Wilder said. “I’m looking forward to getting my own bird’s eye view of both fighters for a future fight. I’m definitely going over there to scout. I’m looking for a fighting partner.”

When it comes to picking a winner, Wilder is torn, saying: “My heart goes to Joshua, but my mind says Klitschko.”

Wilder, 38-0 with 37 knockouts, has owned the WBC crown for two years and wants a July fight with New Zealand’s unbeaten Joseph Parker, the World Boxing Organization champion, with that winner to meet the Joshua-Klitschko victor.

“Whoever unifies is going to bring another era to the heavyweight division – one name, one champion, once and for all. Undisputed. It’s going to be better for boxing. You’ll see a different atmosphere,” Wilder said.

Deontay Wilder celebrates after retaining his WBC heavyweight title against Gerald Washington in February. Photo: Albert Cesare, AP


“I’m confident I’m the best in the division. I will unify the division. I’m just being patient and waiting for my time to come.”

Parker, 22-0 with 18 knockouts, had a planned May fight against Britain’s Hughie Fury called off on Saturday.

“I want Parker in July,” Wilder said. “Why not? He don’t have any opponent now. Let’s unify. Let’s make it happen. It makes so much sense.

“What would be better than me fighting Parker and then at the end of the year fighting for one undisputed title? I’m looking forward to unifying this division and bringing it back to America.”

Wilder took some verbal swipes at Joshua and Klitschko, citing the Englishman’s past foes as lacklustre and the ex-champion as possibly too far past his prime.

“There are a lot of flaws Joshua has,” Wilder said. “He’s still young in the game. He’s going off the physique and the height. If you deep down soul-search and look at his resumé, you’ll get your answer.

“He has got the power. At any given time, he can get you out of there. He’s definitely going to have to move and take angles with Klitschko... but I think he has a great chance.”

Klitschko, who used Wilder as a sparring partner in more than 50 rounds, is 41 and lost his title to Tyson Fury in his most recent fight 17 months ago because, Wilder says, “he didn’t throw no damn punches”.

“I hope Klitschko brings Klitschko. I think he’s ready. He’s going to show a lot of things. He’s going to teach Joshua a lot of things in the ring as well. Sometimes you have to let them know ‘I’m still the beast, I’m still the monster’.”

Wilder said he plans to visit Kenya next month and Jordan next year over possible fights in each and vowed: “If it’s safe, I’ll go anywhere in the world.”

After failed doping tests scuttled two prior title fights, Wilder does insist on Nevada-style drug tests for any foe.

“To get two of them, that’s mind-blowing,” he said. “You better be clean by the time you fight me ’cause we’re going to find out and even if you do, I’ll still whoop you.”

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