Deontay Wilder has warned Anthony Joshua he will prove he is the world’s “best, baddest and hardest” heavyweight when he defends his WBC title against Bermane Stiverne this weekend.
Wilder (38-0-37KO) will take on Stiverne (25-2-1-21KO) – live on Sky Sports from Brooklyn’s Barclays Centre in the early hours of Sunday morning – for the second time in his career, after claiming a unanimous decision victory over the Haiti-born fighter in January 2015.
A win would keep Wilder on course for a blockbuster bout with IBF and WBA Super champion Joshua in 2018 and a chance to prove he is the world’s premier heavyweight.
“It’s been a long road for me. I’ve had my ups and my downs. The ups I’ve celebrated, but the downs have hurt the most. It’s all led me to here,” Wilder said at the pre-fight press conference.
“All I ever wanted to do is prove to the world that I am the best. I am the baddest. I hit the hardest. I am the most feared. My record speaks for itself.
Ahead of his WBC title defence against Bermane Stiverne this weekend, Deontay Wilder claims Britain's Anthony Joshua is avoiding him.
“This will be an electrifying fight. That belt isn’t going anywhere. I will unify the division.
“I will be the undefeated, undisputed heavyweight champion of the world.”
Adam Smith is joined by Eddie Hearn to look back at Anthony Joshua's win against Carlos Takam and preview Deontay Wilder's fight with Bermane Stiverne.
Stiverne is the only one of the 38 opponents Wilder has faced who has been able to withstand his devastating knockout power.
But the Tuscaloosa, Alabama native insists the judges’ scorecards will not be required this time around.
“Stiverne was the only man to survive the ‘Alabama Slammer’ and avoid a knockout,” Wilder said.
“When I knock him out, then nobody will be able to say they made it through against me. He was nothing but a lot of lumps and excuses after the first fight.
“There’s nothing different that he can bring to the table. He brought everything he could bring the first time. He brought all his tricks – all his power.
“There’s nothing he’s going to be able to do this time. The only thing he’s going to be able to do is pick his spot on the ground where he’s going to lay at.”
Stiverne insists he is much improved from their first fight and is confident he can not only last the distance once against ‘The Bronze Bomber’ but also derail his dreams of becoming the undisputed heavyweight king.
“Deontay Wilder has been trying to duck me. He’s been giving a lot of excuses about my career. He should be happy if I’ve been inactive,” Stiverne said.
“He should be jumping in the air. Everyone knows that means he’s scared. He knows what time it is.
“He already gave me his best. I had nothing last fight. But now I’m a very dangerous man. Everyone here knows what time it is.”