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Deontay Wilder wants unification, willing to travel

Deontay Wilder is looking ahead for a bigger fight in 2017.

Deontay Wilder v Chris Arreola Photo by David A. Smith/Getty Images
Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

Deontay Wilder has a fight set for February 25 against Gerald Washington, but says he’s “window shopping” future fights, and tops on his list is a unification bout with the WBO titleholder later this year.

Wilder, who holds the WBC belt, predicts that Joseph Parker will retain his belt on April 1 against Hughie Fury, and that’s where his sights are set. He said he’s even willing to travel to Parker’s native New Zealand for the fight:

“As long as it’s safe for my family, friends and me to go, I’m not scared to go anywhere. I want to go to different countries, as far as my legacy is concerned. I want to go all over the world defending my title. I’m not worried about the judges because I have a lot of confidence with my power because I can get any man out at any given time in a fight.”

Wilder (37-0, 36 KO) frankly is not expected to meet a lot of resistance against Washington (18-0-1, 12 KO), a former USC football player who came to boxing after his NFL dreams petered out. The 34-year-old Washington, a late replacement for Andrzej Wawrzyk, is still seen more as a project than a prospect, and his advanced age sort of rules out the latter, anyway.

If Wilder wins as anticipated, the pressure will be on for him to face a stiffer challenge, and the Parker-Fury winner would, in theory, represent that step up in competition. Do you think we’ll see it?

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