WBC world heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder has revealed that he would be willing to cross the Atlantic for a unification fight against Tyson Fury. Fury took the WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO belts against the odds with a stunning unanimous decision victory over the previously dominant Wladimir Klitschko in Dusseldorf on 28 November, boosting the number of current British boxing title holders to 11.
Plenty of eager heavyweights have expressed an interest in facing Fury, including up-and-comer Anthony Joshua and the recently returned David Haye. But while both of that duo have work to do before such ambitions can be realised, Alabama native Wilder would seem a more credible candidate in the medium-term after delivering two successful defences of the title he took from Bermane Stiverne in Las Vegas earlier this year.
"I want that fight to happen as soon as possible," the man known as the 'Bronze Bomber' – in reference to his 2008 Olympic medal – told the BBC. "I've got to fight someone in January and after that fight I would love to have a unification bout – and guess what, I wouldn't mind coming to the UK for that one. No matter where it might be, I want to be the undisputed champion of the world."
Known for his devastating punching power, Wilder would likely provide a further stern test of the controversial Fury's credentials. However, those hoping for a unification bout in the near future should temper their expectations considerably after the new champion dismissed his claims as Klitschko decides just whether or not he intends to exercise his right to a rematch.
"Why do we need to mention Deontay Wilder?," he said in his post-fight press conference after the American had first expressed his interest via social media. "Let's laugh at his name, shall we? Wladimir Klitschko was the No 1 in the division. Probably the pound-for-pound king, whatever that means. This man has been on top of the world and reigned for nine years.
"With Floyd Mayweather gone, Wlad took his place and I just took him out. So why would I be bothered about a novice like Wilder? He's a basketball player who took up boxing a couple of years ago. I'm a true natural fighter. I've been doing it all my life. You get horses and dogs and it's bred into them to be what they are, whether it's racehorses or show dogs. And it's bred into me to be a fighter. So, if Deontay Wilder wants a unification fight he is going to have to wait, because Wladimir Klitschko has a round two....ding ding ding."
Fury has been similarly dismissive over the possibility of any future meeting with former WBA champion Haye, who will return to the ring for the first time in two-and-a-half years on 16 January 2016 as he faces Mark de Mori at London's O2 Arena. The pair were due to square-off on two previous occasions, only for both contests to be cancelled after Haye backed out with alleged injuries. Fury claimed earlier this week that he would rather give a voluntary title defence to his 21-year-old cousin Hughie than offer his old rival another payday.