In his most recent outing, former heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder took out an opponent with the efficiency and ruthlessness of a killer shark engulfing its prey.
On December 23, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, “The Bronze Bomber” seeks to repeat this act of savagery on New Zealand’s Joseph Parker.
The last time Wilder seen action was October 2022 when a spectacular right hand knocked Robert Helenius out cold in round one. The Finland-born technician went down in the swish a shark’s tail and wore the look of a man who’d met his maker as referee Michael Griffin administered the 10-count.
However, Wilder has been inactive since that 2:57 massacre at Barclays Center, and there’s a train of thought that inactivity could catch up with the Alabama power puncher.
“I believe in the concept of ring rust, but I don’t have no rust on me,” a very jolly Wilder (43-2-1, 42 KOs) exclusively told The Sporting News.
“I always keep lime next to me. Lime is what gets rid of rust. [And so does] happiness, peace and love. That recipe equals a rejuvenated body, a healthy heart, a healthy soul. I bring all of that into the ring with me.
“In my last fight, it was the same [layoff] of about a year, and it didn’t last too long. I’m coming in to do the same thing. I don’t get paid for overtime, so I mean business. If I’m gonna lose, I’d rather be knocked out. If I’m to win, I’d rather knock you out.
“When Deontay Wilder is in action, you better beware. I keep you on the edge of your seat. You don’t know what’s gonna happen, but when it happens… Bam, baby, goodnight!”
Noticeable in Wilder’s fight against Helenius was the fact that he’d trimmed all the way back down to 214 pounds. In October 2021, the American weighed in at a career-heaviest 238 pounds for his third fight with Tyson Fury. Wilder floored Fury twice, but tired quickly and appeared lethargic from the midway point before being taken out in round 11.
“I’m always lethal at the lower weight because God has blessed me with tremendous power,” affirmed Wilder. “He put this power in me at the body frame that I’m in. And sometimes when He blesses you with something, you can’t modify it.
“In my career, my opponents have outweighed me by 20, 30, 40, or even 50 pounds, and I’ve laid them all down. I’m looking forward to fighting. I don’t worry about weight because of the courage I’ve been blessed with. I think it’s more entertaining when [fans] see a guy with a smaller frame against a guy that’s bigger, but my power outweighs theirs.
“Everybody’s waiting to see, is this gonna be the punch that ends the fight? Nobody wants to see a fight go 12 rounds because they have plans for the after party (laughs).”
Parker (33-3, 23 KOs) is in the role of party crasher. The former WBO heavyweight titleholder has been at world level for several years and retains plenty of ambition. At 31 years old, he’s six years younger than Wilder, he’s the more technically proficient of the two, and he carries a good punch.
And while Parker was stopped in 11 rounds by Joe Joyce in September 2022, he’s known for his durability and fighting heart. “Joseph has been boxing for a long time,” said Wilder with respect.
“If I’m not mistaken, he’s been doing it since he was a kid. He should be well qualified to survive when he steps into the ring. Every fighter that steps into the ring, for me, has some type of bravery.
“It’s going to be a great fight – the Day of Reckoning – and somebody is going to get knocked out. That happens, it’s just how it happens. When people see me fight, they expect a knockout, but they also expect the effect that it will cause upon that human being. What will his body do after that punch has landed?
“I’m looking forward to letting him do the little hula-hoop dance after I punch him. I wanna knock him out of the ring. I’ve never knocked a man out of the ring. I wanna knock him out of the ring, but I don’t want nobody to hold him when he falls out.
“I want him to fall straight on the floor, on the ground, with his arm folded out, looking up into the sky, in la-la land, as if he’s on mushrooms.”
Last time was a shark attack. This time, Wilder is planning psychedelics.