WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder has defended his claim that he would beat Mike Tyson in his prime.

Tyson is regarded as arguably the greatest "fighter" in boxing, gaining notoriety for his early knockout wins and intimidating demeanour during his days as heavyweight champion.

But when asked who would win between him and "Iron Mike" if they fought, Wilder claimed he'd emerge victorious as he would "kick the hell out of" him.

"Me vs Tyson in 86, I'd kick the hell outta that guy," Wilder told TMZ.

"Listen, I've got to keep it real I know people always go back to the old school or look at the new school and there's no school where I'm not no. 1 on earth."

Wilder's comments drew criticism from the boxing world as it is a common courtesy to respect the legends of the sport, with many such as Tyson Fury, notably named after the former heavyweight champion, showing respect to the 51-year-old in response.

However, Wilder still believes he would beat his American compatriot as his physical attributes, along with being a new school fighter, give him the edge.

"My hand speed, I'm too long, I'm too tall, my athleticism, my feetwork, all that gives me an advantage, it plays a big part," Wilder said, as per ES News. "No disrespect to Mike Tyson, in his era he was the best but this is a new era.

"No old school fighter should beat a new school fighter. Look at the technology we have. Nobody has a natural killer instinct as I do, ain't anybody could ever knock me out. I'm very confident in what I say and I speak what I do."

Wilder (39-0) is currently preparing for his next title defence as he takes on Luis Ortiz on 3 March at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

Should he retain his title, he will ideally be in line to face the winner of the Anthony Joshua vs Joseph Parker title unification fight that takes place later that month on 31 March.