Duhaupas’ manager defends criticism: Wilder shock possible

The manager of WBC heavyweight title challenger Johann Duhaupas, Mehdi Ameur, has leapt to the defense of his fighter and says the Frenchman is more than capable of springing a surprise later this month.

Duhaupas faces undefeated KO artist Deontay Wilder on September 26 at the Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Alabama and is a huge underdog going into the fight on live Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions.

Indifferent form shown by the 34 year-old led to groans when Wilder formally announced Duhaupas as the second challenger to his crown, although Ameur believes the Abbeville puncher will prove his worth in the ring.

“Johann Duhaupas is a rough boxer and a good challenger. We are respectful of what the public think, but Johann is going to show the opposite on September 26th,” Ameur exclusively told World Boxing News.

“Johann is in great shape and will be ready to perform in a big fight. He wants also wants to create the surprise and then he will be the first ever French world heavyweight champion. It will be history in France and around the world.

“People outside of France don’t think he has big potential, but he is not only in believing in his own ability and we know he is a good opponent for Deontay Wilder.”

Wilder, 29, comes into the contest having overcome Bermane Stiverne to claim the green belt, before going on to stop Eric Molina last time out in a performance that was questioned in some quarters.

‘The Bronze Bomber’ was rocked early in the fight before seeing out a ninth round victory and Ameur is under no illusions of the task Duhaupas faces to end the 34-fight winning run of the current world title holder.

“Wilder is really a good boxer. He is very strong and tall and he deserved his victory over Molina. Although Molina lasted nine rounds, I think Johann is a better test for Wilder and it will really be a good fight for the fans.

“Johann has trained hard for this fight and would have been ready even if he only had one month to prepare. His mentally is right and he has been eager to make a big fight for a long time.

“Training-wise, Daniel Lorcy and Bruno Valliant have been left to define the strategic plan and I know they can help Johann to get the win.

“Johann wants the belt and he is going to make every effort to have it in his possession,” he added.

Asked whether he has contemplated the possibility of Duhaupas earning a massive unification with Wladimir Klitschko, Ameur replied: “We think first only of the fight on September 26th. Then we shall return the belt in France and we shall begin to think of the possibilities.

“Johann is the fourth French boxer to participate in a world heavyweight title fight and we believe he can be the first to become champion.”