Deontay Wilder has some natural gifts. His power looks to be legit and has been sufficient to get him past his technique, which is far from flawless to say the least. Nonetheless, he looks to be buying into his own hype going into the upcoming Bermane Stiverne fight. Wilder (32-0, 32 KOs) still maintains his perfect knockout percentage, though its worth noting that nearly all of his fights have come against pretty weak opposition. Whether or not he's able to beat Stiverne, this should prove to be a real test for Wilder, and should give us some real insight as to where he really ranks amongst heavyweights (and if there might finally be someone who can knock of Klitschko).
"People are gonna be excited by what I do in this fight and they're going to come and they're gonna get what they're looking for and that's a new American heavyweight champion," said Wilder, 29, who will face Stiverne on Jan. 17 on Showtime.
"The heavyweight division is definitely back after I win this. People are going to be dealing with someone who brings excitement and charisma and somebody that can make them laugh. I'm going to give them the ‘oohs' and the ‘ahhs' that they've been looking for and that's what Deontay Wilder is going to bring back to boxing and the heavyweight division."
"I'm a natural. That's why a lot of the heavyweights are jealous of me now because of the things that I can do. I don't have to plan it out. I can just be me," said Wilder, a native and resident of Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
"The other fighters hate me for that but the fans love that and that's why I'm talked about. So this is for the fans and for the naysayers and there's a lot of them."
Wilder is right in that he has been able to just kind of wing it in the ring, and hasn't really had to plan out his attack. Most, if not all, of that stems from being in with over-matched opponents who couldn't make him think or know how to avoid his power. Malik Scott would have been the one name on his resume who could have made him think his way through a fight, but of course he got clipped and put away very early in their fight. It seems that Wilder is now coming to expect early stoppages no matter who the opponent is.
"It's gonna be a knockout, man. This is going to be a knockout. I predict a second round knockout but I guarantee that it's not going past four. I guarantee you that. There's a lot of bad blood between us. The thing about it is that I'm the most dangerous when I have something personal against you. Now I really want to hurt you. I feel like nothing that you bring to the table is gonna affect me," said Wilder.
"No matter how hard you hit, no matter how confident you are and no matter how much you try to bully me or out-tough me, it's not gonna work. It's just not gonna work. So it's definitely going to be a knockout. When I do what I say that I'm going to do, I know that I'm not going to get all of my full credit for doing it. But God is still good and as long as they keep on talking about me, man, then I'm in. That's how I feel."
If he's able to swiftly put away Stiverne, then all credit is due to him. But I think by him talking himself up so much, as if he's invulnerable, it's really putting him in a position for a hefty serving of humble pie.