Deontay Wilder lost it with a current heavyweight title contender when he embarked on a sparring tour during his days as a contender.
In a heated sparring session, the former WBC champion attempted to take the younger Filip Hrgovic’s head off.
Wilder went on a European sparring tour back in the day, including Wladimir Klitschko, David Haye, and a teenage Hrgovic.
Clips of all three are readily available on YouTube as Wilder took on some of the best around and future prospects before a long reign as world champion.
Deontay Wilder sparring tour
The experience served Wilder well. He ruled as the WBC heavyweight titleholder from 2015 to 2020.
Tyson Fury ended his tenure in February at the MGM Grand. A loss Wilder was hoping to avenge in the trilogy but failed.
But returning 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 IBF mandatory position and could conceivably face Tyson Fury or Oleksandr Usyk in 2023.
Wilder is also possible if he regains the WBC title following an eliminator with Andy Ruiz Jr.
But when they shared the ring, Hrgovic was just a buck. However, in the years since, many believe the youngster got the better of Wilder on the day.
London gym session
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.
Controlling the action more than Wilder, Hrgovic looked composed and still threw his trademark bombs at times.
— Wasserman Boxing (@WassermanBoxing) May 21, 2020
Former Wilder opponent Johann Duhaupas even backed Hrgovic to be hitting as hard as Wilder when he fulfills his promise completely.
A frightening thought judging by the footage.
Duhaupas said: “I first met Filip at the Klitschko camp in Austria. He impressed me. He has a good right punch and is 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. Maybe he could punch as hard as Wilder in one year with more muscle and power.
“With good mental and physical preparation, I believe Filip could win by KO against [Jarrell] Miller or [Alexander] Povetkin.”
At this point, Hrgovic is 15-0 with twelve KOs and easily boasts a win over former world title challenger Eric Molina. He struggled against Zhilei Zhang when the pair fought on the Usyk vs Joshua II undercard in Saudi Arabia.
By all accounts, Zhang should have gotten the decision. Hrgovic got a gift and is now attempting to stop an undisputed clash between Usyk and Fury by stipulating he won’t step aside as IBF number one.
Hopefully, it can be worked out in the future.
Wilder continues to be mentioned in the same breath as a contender himself. Therefore, you’d never bet against the pair going hammer and tongs again at some point in the future.