Deontay Wilder went on a European tour of sparring back in the day, which included Wladimir Klitschko, David Haye, and a teenage Filip Hrgovic.
Clips of all three are readily available on YouTube as Wilder took on some of the best around and future prospects prior to a long reign as world champion.
The experience obviously served Wilder well. He ruled as WBC heavyweight title-holder from 2015 to 2020.
Tyson Fury ended the tenure in February at the MGM Grand. A loss Wilder is hoping to avenge in the trilogy.
But going back to Hrgovic, it’s been quite interesting to re-watch the spar as the Croat continues his rise up the rankings.
Hrgovic is undefeated and in the WBC voluntary positions and could conceivably face Wilder in the next couple of years.
When they shared the ring, Hrgovic was just a teenager, although plenty who believe the youngster got the better of Wilder on the day.
Taking place in Haye’s London Gym, Wilder tried to take Hrgovic’s heads off in what seemed to be a bit more than a mere friendly spar.
Control the action more than Wilder, Hrgovic looked composed and still threw bombs at times.
— Team Sauerland (@TeamSauerland) May 21, 2020
Last year, former Wilder opponent Johann Duhaupas backed Hrgovic to be hitting as hard as Wilder soon. A frightening thought judging by the footage.
Duhaupas said: “I first met Filip at the Klitschko camp in Austria and he impressed me. He has a good right punch, fast and strong. You can see that he aims to become a World Champion.
“I smell it in him. His style and ability are similar to Vitali Klitschko.
“Deontay is a killer, but Filip already has a good right hand, and maybe in one year with more muscle and power he could punch as hard as Wilder.
“With good mental and physical preparation, I believe Filip could win by KO against Miller or Povetkin.”
At this point, Hrgovic is 10-0 with eight KO’s and recently defeated former world title challenger Eric Molina with ease.
Wilder continues to be mentioned in the same breath. Therefore, you’d never bet against the pair going hammer and tongs again at some point in the future.