Former heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder is moving closer to a shot at becoming a two-weight ruler following the WBC formation of a new division.
Nicknamed ‘Bridger,’ after a young boy who saved his sister from a dog attack, there will effectively be a new super cruiserweight weight class.
Wilder, who regularly hits the scales just shy of the new 224-pound limit, will undoubtedly be given the first refusal to be involved in the kick-off championship bout.
Discussing the possibility of moving down to cruiserweight in the past, it’s now been made a whole lot easier for Wilder to become a two-weight king.
Speaking in 2018, Wilder said: “What’s up boxing world. You know I’ve just been sitting in my car thinking.
“I’ve been thinking about, once I unify the heavyweight division, moving down to the cruiserweight. Taking over that division.
“There’s never been a heavyweight ever go down in weight. I mean just for the fun of it. Just take over the cruiserweight division while maintaining the heavyweight division.”
‘The Bronze Bomber’ has been left in limbo by the collapse of a trilogy versus Tyson Fury of late. This means Wilder has the distinct consolation of moving away from the massive heavyweights.
As Anthony Joshua, Andy Ruiz Jr., and others continue to get bigger and bigger in the top division and outweigh those who cannot make 200 pounds; it’s becoming tougher for the likes of Wilder to compete.
This was evident last February when Fury pummeled Wilder in seven one-sided rounds to take the green and gold belt in the glamor division.
Disputing the victory of late, Wilder believes foul play was evident throughout the fight. These are as yet unsubstantiated claims.
Reports are already circling that Oleksandr Usyk will be approached to face Wilder. However, the Ukrainian does have a high-profile mandatory with Joshua that will be worth a hell of a lot more money.
It’s far more likely that Wilder will face a lesser name to get a firm grip on the strap. To defend it against the bigger names later on.
Previously, Wilder ruled at heavyweight for five years. He could similarly be aiming for a swansong reign in his career at the Bridgerweight limit.
All will be revealed soon.
Phil Jay is an Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay