With a staggering 30 KO victories to his name and no losses, 28-year-old American boxer Deontay 'The Bronze Bomber' Wilder is the most exciting prospect in the heavyweight division.
In-between preparing for his upcoming bout with fellow US fighter Malik Scott on Sunday and Twitter beefing with British boxer Tyson Fury, the Alabaman with the vicious right hand took a few minutes to tell MF why he’s wrecking shop in the heavyweight division.
MF: How did you get on sparring with David Haye when you came to the UK to help him prepare for his (cancelled) bout against Tyson Fury?
DW: Me and David are cool. I sparred with him during two camps, and it's really helped me come on as I fighter.
MF: What’s going on in the heavyweight division at the moment?
DW: There’s a revival taking place. Over the next year you’re going to see a lot of young guys coming through and bringing back the spark to the division – led by Deontay ‘Bronze Bomber’ Wilder, of course.
MF: Who would you rather fight Fury or Chisora?
DW: I'll fight either one of them. I want the biggest fights so I’ll go to war with whoever wins their rematch. A fight between me and either of them would be huge on both sides of the pond.
MF: Do you think the Klitschko brothers are still relevant?
DW: One is – Wladimir. He still has all the belts. Vitali has retired. I'm working my way towards a big showdown with Wladimir.
MF: What makes Malik Scott a tough opponent?
DW: Malik’s a great boxer – he's beat 37 out of the 38 people he's fought, and even his loss (to Chisora) was a bad stoppage. But he hasn't fought me yet and I'm totally different to anyone he's ever faced. It’s going to be a hell of a fight, however long it lasts.
MF: Have you been doing anything different in your strength and conditioning sessions to prepare for him?
DW: We work hard in the gym. A lot of heavyweight guys aren't in shape when it's time to fight but I always come ready. To make sure my conditioning is up to scratch my coach gets me to do lots of uphill interval runs on the treadmill. Core strength is also critical to boxing so I often stand on one leg on a bosu and catch a medicine ball. For strength and power we do cleans, jerks and shoulder presses, often while wearing a weight vest. Our programme is all about multi-tasking.
MF: Do you take any supplements to help you recover after all that?
DW: Nothing other than a multi-vitamin. All that stuff isn't going to make you a fighter – you can either do it or you can't.
MF: What music gets you pumped when you're training?
DW: In camp I bring in old school tunes, mostly from the late 70s. We play some good stuff by Rick James, Maze and Kool & the Gang. We crank it loud!
Deontay Wilder vs Malik Scott and Danny Garcia vs Mauricio Herrera is live on BoxNation (Sky Ch 437/Virgin Ch 546) this Sunday at 2am. Visit boxnation.com to subscribe.
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Nick Hutchings worked for Men’s Fitness UK, which predated, and then shared a website with, Coach. Nick worked as digital editor from 2008 to 2011, head of content until 2014, and finally editor-in-chief until 2015.