Wilder: Duhaupas the best opponent, I’m looking for the KO

Lucas Noonan

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.”