Deontay Wilder hopes to fight Wladimir Klitschko in a unification bout at the “end of next year.”
Wilder (35-0, 34 KOs) successfully defended the WBC heavyweight crown over brave Frenchman Johann Duhaupas on Saturday night at the Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Alabama. The 6-foot-9, 227-pound Wilder constantly peppered the 6-foot-5, 236-pound Duhaupas (32-3, 20 KOs) with right hands, left hooks, jabs and uppercuts throughout their brutal mismatch. After Wilder landed roughly a dozen unanswered punches, referee Jack Reiss compassionately halted the lopsided beating 55 seconds into the 11th round.
Wilder, a bronze medalist for the United States in 2008, has an electric presence in the squared circle and has now knocked out 97.16% of his opponents as a professional.
“Hopefully, (I fight Klitschko) sometime end of next year,” said Wilder, 29, who was born in Tuscaloosa and starred in football and basketball at Tuscaloosa Central High School in Alabama. “We got to get these mandatories out of the way.”
The 39-year-old Klitschko (64-3, 53 KOs) was slated to defend The Ring, WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight belts against Tyson Fury on October 24 at the Esprit Arena in Düsseldorf, Germany. However, Klitschko tore a tendon in his left calf during a recent training session and will now face the 27-year-old Fury (24-0, 18 KOs) around Thanksgiving at the same venue.
Fury is an adequate prizefighter and he certainly deserves an opportunity to challenge Klitschko. Unfortunately for the colossal Englishman, Klitschko has matured into a legendary pugilist and his previously defective jaw has seemingly hardened. Klitschko will quickly recover from this minor injury and finish Tyson Fury before 2016.
“It will be at the same arena and we are hoping to have it happen late in November or early December,” Fury’s manager, Mick Hennessy, said. “Wladimir is being seen by a specialist who treats the German national football team and they are going to work on it over the next few days. We have got to match up what dates are good for TV – but the stadium is okay.”
“Dr. Steelhammer,” ranked sixth in the pound-for-pound rankings, has emerged triumphant in 22 consecutive outings since enduring a TKO at the hands of Lamon Brewster in April 2004. Of greater significance, Klitschko has won 18 straight championship contests and remains a threat to Joe Louis’ longstanding record of 25 successful defenses.
Considering the mammoth Ukrainian has suffered knockout losses to Ross Puritty, Corrie Sanders and Brewster, the 6-foot-6, 246-pound Klitschko is certainly beatable and Wilder’s devastating right can’t be underestimated. However, Klitschko is a far more advanced and formidable pugilist than the raw Wilder. Minus a haymaker, Klitschko would dominate and embarrass Wilder in a marquee showdown.
By “sometime end of next year,” expect Wladimir Klitschko to outclass Deontay Wilder to become the undisputed heavyweight king.