WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder has leapt to the defence of David Haye and would like to face the Briton at some point in the future.
Wilder, 30, is currently back in light training after recovering from intrusive surgery to his hand and bicep, edging his way closer to a possible return to action in the first half of 2017.
‘The Bronze Bomber’ will no doubt be looking for a warm-up fight before taking on the winner of a mandatory bout between Alexander Povetkin and ex-foe Bermane Stiverne, whilst Wilder would then be open to a Haye fight despite some recent bad publicity surrounding the ‘Hayemaker’ and his choice of opponents.
“I’ve always liked David Haye,” Wilder exclusively told World Boxing News.
“I was always a fan of his motivation and how passionate he was about the sport. I know how determined he was to become a champion and he seems like he’s trying again to get that passion back. He still has dreams he wants to fulfill as he wants to be the heavyweight champ of the world again and that makes it exciting for the division.
“As I’ve said before, we don’t have many heavyweights in this division who have the interest Haye ignites, so when we can have someone that brings excitement – or once brought it and they are trying to bring it back – then it’s a good thing, a great thing.”
Asked what he thought of Haye’s two comeback opponents after victories over Mark de Mori and Arnold Gjergjaj following a four-year absence, Wilder replied; “I haven’t seen the other two of his fights.
“But you know, I have heard about it and everybody is going to express their opinion.
“Some people are saying that he is fighting bums and all that but you can only beat who is put in front of you. He’s doing that so that’s the way I look at it.
“I think he lost a lot of fans due to the Fury thing and pulling out of the fights all the time. A lot of people are looking at him agreeing to fight Shannon Briggs and that he didn’t follow through so a lot of people have lost hope on him. But as a person and as a fighter, I think he’s an entertainer. I still think that he is good for the sport of boxing and the heavyweight division.”
Although it may be at least a year away, Wilder confirmed Haye is on his list of future opponents and confirmed the Londoner wouldn’t necessarily need to bring a world championship to the table to make it happen.
“No, he doesn’t have to have a world title for me to fight him. Not at all. I would definitely consider fighting him but I would definitely want him to get up in the rankings to earn the fight,” stipulated Wilder.