Deontay Wilder has told Tyson Fury he still wants their much mooted fight to go ahead “whether he’s got a belt or not”.
Fury had not long held the WBA Super, IBF and WBO titles when he confronted Wilder in the ring moments after the American had defended his WBC belt against Artur Szpilka.
Pending investigation on anti-doping and medical issues, Fury vacated the titles, and while Wilder is sympathetic, he says fight against the Briton remains a priority.
“I look forward to the return of Tyson Fury because we didn’t promote that fight all year for nothing, trust me,” Wilder told Sky Sports. “That one’s got to happen, whether he’s got a belt or not.”
He added: “I hope to see Tyson back in the ring, and I think he will return. I have prayed for his recovery. He’s a great guy. You’ve got to understand a person, where they came from, and where they’re trying to go.
“Sometimes people can come off harsh, especially when they’re trying to prove stuff, especially in this sport. You’ve got to be a certain type of character sometimes. But sometimes guys will build a certain type of character then they can’t turn it off. You’ve got to know how to turn that switch off.
“You’re not that type of person, but when you try to build yourself and promote things, it may seem that way. You’re only human, and a human can only take so much battering and disrespect from millions and millions of people. You’re only one person and you can’t battle the world.”
Another Briton, Anthony Joshua, is also on Wilder’s radar, and will be taking a keen interest in the Londoner’s Dec. 10 IBF title defence against Eric Molina.
Wilder added: “If he comes victorious, everyone wants to see him fight the man. And I am the man. No matter what people say, I am the man, especially in America.”