Deontay Wilder: Demanding Povetkin in April
Is a rivalry brewing between boxing's two very outspoken heavyweight champions?
(Image courtesy of Round by Round Boxing)
If so, will it be put on hold for awhile?
According to ESPN, WBC heavyweight champ Deontay Wilder (36-0, 35 KO) insists he'd welcome the idea of traveling to the UK for a unification fight with Tyson Fury should the latter prevail in his rematch with Wladimir Klitschko.
Of course, things got heated last month when Fury, in WWE style, confronted Wilder in the ring immediately following the latter's knockout win over Artur Szpilka in Brooklyn last month.
"When he got in the ring I told him I'll come to his backyard and I mean that," he said in an appearance at Super Bowl 50's Radio Row in San Francisco.
"I'm willing to come over there. If he wins, I'm willing to come over there to take the titles. I'm very comfortable with England -- I've got a lot of friends, a ton of fans."
"I feel that when they say heavyweight champion of the world -- that's a world traveler, not just in your home country. When my legacy's over and done, I want to be labeled as someone who went behind enemy lines, fought everybody and had great exciting fights every time I came back."
But first, will Wilder face Alexander Povetkin, his mandatory slated for this spring?
Some in the boxing community believe Wilder is looking to relinquish his WBC title and challenge for the "collection of titles" that will be owned by the winner of Klitschko vs Fury 2?
If so, it would make sense because Wilder matches up better with Klitschko and Fury than the Russian. And, he can always save face and insist he turned down Povetkin and subsequently gave up one title for the opportunity to capture multiple titles and the prestigious RING Magazine strap.
It was also rumored if he can't immediately get a guarantee to face the winner of Klitschko vs Fury 2, Wilder would target newly-crowned IBF champion Charles Martin, a presumably much safer opponent than the polished, hard-nosed Povetkin.
However, in an interview earlier this week, the WBC champ put the rumors about Povetkin and Martin to rest.
“I got Alexander Povetkin lined up,” Wilder told RingTV.com in a phone interview Thursday.
" I want to get Povetkin out of the way. I’m demanding April that we get this on.”
In addition, Wilder said he has no plans to relinquish his WBC title for a crack at IBF champion Charles Martin.
“Why would I give it up when I’m trying to unify (all the heavyweight belts)?” Wilder said. “It don’t make no sense. So I’m going to give it up to get one belt and then come back around to take the other belt and then go get the other one?”
Wilder vs Povetkin this spring? If it happens, it'll be a beauty.