Deontay Wilder says he has never hated an opponent in the way he now despises Tyson Fury and is promising to do “the most brutal thing you can come up with in your mind”.
Wilder spoke to a group of UK writers on a Zoom conference call ahead on Tuesday’s press conference in Los Angeles to announce his third fight with Fury at the T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, on July 24.
While he refused to answer reporters’ questions at the press conference, he did speak during the call, although he declined to look into the camera. But he left no doubt about his feelings towards Fury, who took his WBC heavyweight title in Las Vegas in February last year.
“I am going to do more than punish him, I am going to do the most brutal thing you can come up with in your mind,” Wilder said.
“I hate him now, I think nothing of him, there is bad blood and it will always be there. Hate is a motivation to destroy, that’s what the devil does every day. I have never felt this way about any opponent before. Dominic Breazeale was the last one I disliked most.”
He knocked out Breazeale in 137 seconds.
Neither man has boxed since they last fought, with Wilder replacing Mark Breland as trainer with Malik Scott. Wilder declined to say what they had been working on.
“A lot of people are looking and listening in but on July 24 we will reveal it all,” he said.
“The lay-off has been good for me and bad for him. Because I have had time to progress, they should have got me earlier but they ran and tried to dodge me after I had done right by him and put food on his family’s table. A lot of things will be different, the world will see. During the pandemic I trained non-stop and I have been building.
“Defeat has not affected me, I have always been happy, I have been able to spend time with my family and now I am ready to go. Whatever Tyson does in this third fight, I will have an answer for. Just like when the phone rings.”
Wilder says he was always confident that he would win the arbitration to force a third fight with Fury. A US judge upheld his claim that he was entitled to a rematch, an option that Fury’s team insisted had expired.
“I was feeling nothing and we were very confident because we knew we were in the right and they knew that as well,” he said.
“I was training when the arbitration call came and when I heard we trained even harder. Justice was served in that part and now it will be served to me on July 24.”
He also did not back away from suggestions of foul play in last year’s fight, including a claim that something was not right with Fury’s gloves.
“We are dealing with a known drug cheat,” Wilder said. “Anyone knows that gloves don’t fold or bend 90 degrees, people didn’t care about what they saw.”
Wilder says that his ambition of being the man that unifies all the titles has been dented by the defeat.
“The mission is the same, it never changed,” he said. “One champion, one face, one name.”
Ron Lewis is a senior writer for BoxingScene. He was Boxing Correspondent for The Times, where he worked from 2001-2019 - covering four Olympic Games and numerous world title fights across the globe. He has written about boxing for a wide variety of publications worldwide since the 1980s.