Deontay Wilder has spoken for the first time since receiving some criticism from legends Lennox Lewis and Frank Bruno for comments made on Mike Tyson.
Wilder, speaking in an interview with TMZ during a massive Showtime announcement last month, gave a stark view on defeating the Tyson of 1986, a version of the former king many believe was undefeatable back in the day.
“Me vs Tyson in ’86, I’d kick the hell outta that guy,” Wilder told TMZ Sports.
“Listen, I’ve gotta to keep it real, I know people always go back to the old school or look at the new school and there’s no school where I’m not the number one on earth.”
Lewis, who stopped a sluggish and past his prime Tyson in their meeting back in 2002, waded in on Wilder’s views with his own opinion.
“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.
“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,” Lewis said via social media.
“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.
Bruno, who fought and lost against both Lewis and Tyson, replied to his ex-foes comments by saying: “Very easy to talk (and) easy to make a statement when you know it’s impossible to do,” questioning Wilder’s thinking.
Wilder, speaking at a recent media workout, stood firm on his ultimate prediction that he would knock Tyson out and be unmoved by the ‘Baddest Man on the Planet at the height of his powers.
“My hand speed, I’m too long, I’m too tall, my athleticism, my footwork, all that gives me an advantage, it plays a big part,” Wilder pointed out.
“No disrespect to Mike Tyson, in his era he was the best but this is a new era. No old school fighter should beat a new school fighter. Look at the technology we have.
“Nobody has a natural killer instinct as I do, ain’t anybody could ever knock me out. I’m very confident in what I say and I speak what I do,” concluded the current WBC ruler.