Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

Wilder Announces Fights in Mexico, Tuscaloosa

Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

Wilder Announces Fights in Mexico, Tuscaloosa

Article excerpt

TUSCALOOSA | Deontay Wilder believes he is ready: bigger fights, longer fights, tougher opponents.

The Tuscaloosa native boxer announced Tuesday he will fight twice over the next month, including a bout with Jessie Oltmanns in Cancun, Mexico, this weekend and another fight at the Killer Buzz Arena at Tuscaloosa's McFarland Mall on June 23 against Jamaican heavyweight champion Owen Beck.

But when asked about his career path, Wilder was clear.

"I want to fight anybody in the top 10. We're not scared of anyone. We want to fight anyone that wants to fight me," Wilder said. "A lot of guys we've tried to fight, and everyone has their reasons why they don't want to fight. I can call out many names on my list, but we're ready for whoever. Hopefully, the plan is to get into the top 10 and maybe fight for a title next year. The long end of the stick has already come to be a short stick now. We're moving along in my career. This is what we've been waiting on, and it's finally coming into play now."

Said trainer Jay Deas: "This is the part of the career where he is in his last few eight-round (fights), and we'll then be moving to the 10-rounders. So getting those guys that have been to the top is kind of important. Where Deontay is now (mentally) is, 'Let's seek out some of those bigger names.'"

Not all of Wilder's confidence comes from his 21-0 record as a professional. Some of it comes from the success he has had sparring in training camps with some of the world's top heavyweights, most recently Tony Thompson. On July 7, Thompson (36-2) will challenge Wladimir Klitschko in a rematch with the Ukranian-born heavyweight champion. Thompson lasted 10 rounds with Klitschko in their first bout before being knocked out, and he called on Wilder as a sparring partner to help him prepare for another chance. Wilder has also sparred with heavyweights such as David Haye, Tomasz Adamek, Mike Perez and Kevin Johnson.

"When I go to camps, I dominate. Just going into camp and being able to do the things I was able to do, it just made me feel (like) a more complete fighter," Wilder said. …

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