WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder says he wants to be the first to knock challenger Johann Duhaupas out after describing the Frenchman as the best opponent available.
The big-punching 29 year-old will be aiming to extend his impressive 34-fight winning streak in his home state of Alabama and was as confident as ever in the build-up to Saturday night’s clash.
“I couldn’t have a better opponent to be defending my title against. I think he’s the best type of opponent for me. He’s tough, he comes to fight, he’s got a great record, he’s never been stopped,” said Wilder.
“I told people that I want to stay active and I’m looking forward to continuing being active in and outside of the ring as the champion, defending my belt as many times as possible. I don’t see myself being in this sport a very long period of time so I want to fight as much as possible.
“With Duhaupas, he doesn’t know what it is to be knocked-out and I feel that I definitely have to win this fight by knockout. I want to get him his first knockout. That’s for sure. He’s never faced a guy of my caliber, with my speed, with my talent, with my IQ in the ring, with my power and we’re going to see how the fight plays out but I definitely feel that I need a knockout in this fight.”
In response, 34 year-old Duhaupas just seemed happy to be involved in a fight of this magnitude.
“That’s a big challenge for me. This is something I’ve dreamt of for years. Once I am in the ring I forget everything about where I am, I just think about fight and just focus on the fight and the opponent and it will be a normal fight for me. It’s really important for me because it’s a big fight in a big country and until the fight, when I’m in the ring, everything is the same thing that it would be in France or anywhere,” he said.
“This is a huge fight here but I can use some special things for me to fight against him. We’ve been working a lot in the last month on Deontay fights and watching videos from him. We work a lot to bring a hard to fight and we’ll be prepared for the fight. I’m prepared for a fight and I know how to do it.
“The thing is I work with a lot of videos of Deontay fighting. I think we’re preparing the fight the best we can do. We’re just training in my town in France because I need to train close to my family. I like to prefer to train here because I know the place and the people and that’s it.”