Deontay Wilder names opponent shortlist as Tyson Fury talks continue
Former heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder has named five possible alternative opponents if mediation with Tyson Fury fails.
Firstly, teams representing Wilder and Fury are locked in negotiations over a failed but contracted trilogy bout.
Fury walked away as the third collision due to the date being delayed for months. However, Wilder doesn’t see it as simple for the Briton.
Wilder says, at best, Fury owes him one after the American ‘blessed him’ with two previous opportunities.
Updating on how discussions are going, Wilder outlined his view to Brian Custer on The Last Stand Podcast.
“Even with the contract, I’ve been ready since September,” Wilder pointed out to Custer. “You’re not a man of your word. You’re not fulfilling your obligation.
“I helped you out. I put millions in your pocket, and I made you relevant (again, following a three-year absence). Now it’s time for you to do the same thing. That’s all we’re saying.
“No matter one, two, or three fights. That’s just the principle. He’s not a man of principle, morals, or goal.”
He continued: “They sat around. It was their obligation to put the fight on. They waited until October came. Then talking about we abandoned the contract. That’s a lie!”
Asked whether there’s a contingency plan in place if the Fury encounter collapses completely, Wilder named his current shortlist of five opponents.
“Realistically, Dillian Whyte would be one on the list. (Andy) Ruiz would be one on the list,” he confirmed. “When I get back as far as height Robert Helenius could be one.
“You got (Joseph) Parker, and you got (Alexander) Usyk. I would love to fight him. He called me out at one point and time.
“There’s a lot of guys on the list. When that phone rings, accept the opportunity.”
DEONTAY WILDER HITLIST
Unlikely due to a contracted rematch with Alexander Povetkin. Right now, that fight is scheduled for January.
Andy Ruiz Jr.
Very possible due to both being signed to Al Haymon. Ruiz was due to return in November or December.
It seems either Ruiz is waiting on the Wilder situation to open up, or he’s not ready yet.
It’s been almost a year since Mexico’s first top division ruler surrendered his belts to Anthony Joshua in Saudi Arabia.
Possibly the most likely of the five to break Wilder back in gently following his shocking stoppage at the hands of Fury.
Helenius is currently without a fight.
The New Zealander battles compatriot Junior Fa in the coming months. The contest was initially set for December 12 but has been postponed.
A rescheduling announcement is expected on Monday.
Usyk is free after recording his second win at the heavyweight limit. The former undisputed cruiserweight king out-pointed Dereck Chisora on Halloween.
Usyk has a mandatory opportunity against Anthony Joshua stipulated for the first half of 2021.
If the WBO allow Usyk to fight for the vacant belt, unranked Wilder would be out of contention. He doesn’t feature in the Top 15 right now.
Furthermore, Deontay Wilder has already ruled out facing Usyk for the newly-formed WBC super cruiserweight strap.