At the recent Showtime ‘Boxing Up Front’ announcement, Deontay Wilder was asked if he could have beaten a peak ‘1986’ Mike Tyson.
Wilder’s response was an unequivocal ‘yes’ whilst the American added an ‘old school, new school – I knock them all out’ comment for good measure.
Upon getting wind of Wilder’s statement, former undisputed heavyweight king Lennox Lewis warned ‘The Bronze Bomber’ not to be too hasty.
“I just heard Deontay Wilder said he would destroy a young Mike Tyson. My thoughts are that it’s easy to talk until you actually get in the ring,” said Lewis.
“I like Wilder but he’s never been in there with someone that ferocious who truly wants to break his ribs with every punch. I don’t see it!
“I love Wilder’s confidence (and) you need that to sit atop the heavyweight division. He’s hungry and shows up in probably best shape in the division but there are levels to it and he’s still adding to his arsenal.
“My best advice to the entire crop of young heavyweight champs is to focus on being the best of YOUR era!
“Out of respect and reality. It’s unprovable. Of course, people asked but I found no need to speculate or compare myself to my idol Muhammad Ali or any other of the past greats.
“History will decide your place among the all-time greats, so go out there clean up the division and defend your title. Reign supreme and your work will speak for itself,” he added.
At 39-0 and with 38 KO’s, Wilder is recognised as one of the best top division fighters out there right now, but still has to prove his worth against the likes of Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua in order to fully cement his legacy.