Jay Deas: August 16 the most important fight of Deontay Wilder’s career

Phil Jay 06/08/2014

Deontay Wilder’s decision to take a warm-up fight on August 16 with his world title shot delayed to November has made the right choice of opponent imperative, according to trainer and manager Jay Deas.

Deas is awaiting approval for a foe at short notice for Wilder, although the fighter himself stated to WBN earlier this week that in all probability it will be journeyman Mike Sheppard.

The 28 year-old cannot afford to gamble on his impending WBC title challenge against Bermane Stiverne, which will happen this year, and will look more towards improving his record than facing a threat to his defining night.

“I know Golden Boy are looking at several guys and I am awaiting confirmation on who it will be,” Deas told World Boxing News on Wednesday.

“This is clearly the most important fight of Deontay’s career and he is well aware that there is no Stiverne fight without a win here.

“It’s last minute for us and our opponent both, but Deontay is always in shape and we felt we needed to get him in the ring so as not to have a long layoff.

“Whoever is in the other corner will have our full attention,” he added.

Wilder has been out of action since March, having already booked his clash with Stiverne by blowing out Malik Scott in one round and in all has seen just 12 minutes of action in the past year.

Throughout his career, ‘The Bronze Bomber’ has boxed just 54 rounds in 31 contests, and if Sheppard, 39, is to be the opponent at the StubHub Center next week, don’t expect too many more to be added to that total.

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