Deontay Wilder wants his heavyweight peers to know that they are more allies than foes—sometimes.
The former heavyweight titlist from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, offered a picture of harmony and collectivism with regards to the heavyweight division in a recent interview.
The boxing world has been rife with rumors that Wilder and a slew of top heavyweights could potentially fight on a single card in December in the Middle East. The other heavyweight names include former titlist Anthony Joshua, WBC titlist Tyson Fury, and WBO, WBA, IBF champion Oleksandr Usyk. But putting together such an event of that magnitude figures to be a trying task on the negotiating end, since all four fighters are aligned with different promoters and handlers.
Wilder said he resented the idea of being difficult during fight negotiations, and that the prime motive in such talks should be to ensure that both participants “can eat.” Wilder was responding to a query suggesting that Fury—with whom he shares a highly regarded trilogy—is overly intransigent in negotiations. Recently, Fury’s proposed fight with Usyk fell through, much to the dismay of boxing fans who were looking forward to the crowning of an undisputed heavyweight champion.
If a deal can be made for the four heavyweights to fight in December, they will all likely make career-high purses.
“I don’t do all that stuff [stipulations].” Wilder told ESNews. “I don’t put up too much of a fight as far as trying to get a fight done. I feel like we all can eat. That’s how we should be, being able to help each other eat.
"It’s not about overpricing yourself out of a fight and sh!t like that because we’re all risking our lives, so damn, let us at least get a piece of the pie.”
Wilder, 37, has not fought since last October when he knocked out Robert Helenius in one round at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Sean Nam is the author of Murder on Federal Street: Tyrone Everett, the Black Mafia, and the Last Golden Age of Philadelphia Boxing.