Deontay Wilder has heard all the complaints about his opposition, but doesn't seem to care much. Wilder has gone at his own pace, and tomorrow night on Showtime, he looks to improve to 30-0 with his 30th knockout against Nicolai Firtha, a veteran club fighter who figures to be just another in the line of easily vanquished, overpowered foes.
Wilder, 28, is aiming for a world title shot in 2014, though, and seems eager to target the WBC belt. From a release by BoxNation, which will air the Hopkins-Murat card tomorrow in the UK:
"I'm thinking early-to-mid next year. We're trying to line it up now. At the moment I'm ranked number three by the WBC so we're in planning right now. I'll fight whoever they put in front of me. Everybody has weaknesses - the Klitschko's have weaknesses as well too. It's just up to fighters to find them when they're in the ring.
"It's always shorter fighters fighting them - that's one thing I don't understand - but when the shorter fighters are in the ring with them their whole objective is to get in the inside and try and throw overhands. You can't just have one plan when going in with them," he explained.
"Deontay Wilder is the next heavyweight champion of the world - the next undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. I feel the heavyweight division will be restored, these things move in cycles."
The WBC belt is currently held by Vitali Klitschko, but with the 42-year-old champ having been out of action since September 2012, and now planning a Presidential run in Ukraine for 2015, it's worth wondering if he really plans to fight again. If not, Bermane Stiverne is currently the mandatory challenger, so he would almost surely be involved in any vacant title fights if it were to come to that.
Wilder also says that he wants to face fellow young giant Tyson Fury eventually, but he's not talking trash about it. It's just a fight he sees being significant down the line:
"The fight between me and Tyson Fury will definitely happen one day soon. The hype has been building like it's been planned and once it gets to the peak where it's an absolute must that fight's going to happen.
"When that fight happens we want it to be the best fight in the history of boxing. Two guys from two different parts of the world coming together for one night for the fans - I think it's going to be a great fight when that time comes for both of us. We're both two exciting heavyweights in the division and the fight would be great."