Deontay Wilder backed Dillian Whyte to at least ruffle the feathers of British rival Anthony Joshua on Saturday night, without going as far as predicting an upset in a recent interview with WBN.
The current WBC heavyweight champion could be facing the winner of the O2 Arena clash at some point over the next 18 months and sees Whyte as a live opponent for Olympic gold medallist Joshua – who is yet to go past three rounds as a professional.
“I’m looking forward to his fight with Dillian Whyte. I like Dillian Whyte as a fighter and as a person. I think he’s very confident in what he does and he’s mind strong which I like about him,” Wilder exclusively told World Boxing News.
“He did beat Joshua in the amateurs, but it’s so different from the pros. It’s totally different, so I wouldn’t dwell too much on the amateur fight. But if Dillian Whyte comes with the grinding mentality he had in the amateurs – and that roughness – it’s going to be a fight.
“I’ve seen the press conference and sometimes when two fighters know each other and where you come from, you know you grew up together in the same area and you know the truth about that person away from the camera, like he said he knew about Femi – sometimes it can be a game-changer.
“When you get around someone who really knows that truth about you, it can be a whole different ballgame like Dillian was saying, so I want to see that fight and I’m looking forward to it.”
Joshua, 26, is earning rave reviews and being hailed as a future world title holder by many in the sport, but Wilder says a lot could be learned from this fight and expects an entertaining contest between the fierce enemies.
“It’s going to be a good fight and definitely a tester for Joshua due to the fact that he may look back on those amateur days and remember how that was. He got knocked down and he lost, but the only mentality he can have now is; ‘that was in the amateurs and now we pros I’m a different fighter now’ – and may the best man win.
“If I was Anthony that’s the mentality I would have,” he added.