WBC world title holder Deontay Wilder said that he wants to become the first undisputed heavyweight champion since Britain's Lennox Lewis in 1999. Lewis unified all four boxing boards belts when he beat Evander Holyfield 16 years ago, a feat not emulated since in the heavyweight division, something 30-year-old American Wilder would like to change.
"Every heavyweight champion wants that crown. Everyone wants to be labelled as the best heavyweight in the world. I know it takes a lot of time, I know it takes a lot of fights to build that up," Wilder said on 4 December. "I definitely want it bad, I'm ready to do anything that it takes to get that crown, the best heavyweight champion of the world. There hasn't been an undisputed champion since 1999 and that was Lennox Lewis, so it's been well over a decade," he said.
Standing in the way of Wilder is Britain's Tyson Fury, who beat Ukrainian-born Vladimir Klitschko on points in Dusseldorf in November to become IBF, WBA and WBO title holder.
"I predicted that he was going to win," Wilder said. "I said that if Tyson Fury took this fight seriously he had a great chance of winning and that's what he did. I felt Klitschko's been fighting these sort of guys for so long in his career now that a taller guy was going to be very difficult, awkward for him."
"I also feel that Klitschko was fighting two guys in the ring, not only was he fighting Fury, he was fighting this little old man who walks around with a cane and glasses, we're all going to have to meet him in our career and his name is Father Time. I think Father Time is knocking at his door too," said Wilder of the 39-year-old Klitschko, who has exercised his option for a rematch with Fury.
"If you're going to go out and do it why waste any more time?" Wilder said about the rematch. "It was at different times throughout the fight you could tell that his mind wanted to throw a couple of punches but his body wasn't reacting. Even he said he isn't feeling fast like he was, Father Time is clicking so why waste any more time, any more seconds, any more days, any more months?"
Wilder promised that a fight with Fury would happen whatever the outcome of their respective title bouts. "Many heavyweights have lost and won, lost and won and came back. It doesn't eliminate it, it just puts it on hold, that's all.
"I still want to fight Fury, me and Fury have been advertising our fight for four years now so this fight is already sold out, whether he's a champion, whether I'm a champion or not, that fight must take place sometime in history somewhere in the future. So whether he loses or wins, that fight must happen," he said.
"I'm on a journey, I'm on a destiny. I want to be crowned the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world and bring all the belts back to America. No matter how many times those belts change hands I will get that, I promise you that."
Wilder's next title defence will be against an as yet unnamed opponent on 16 January at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.