Deontay Wilder has been compared to boxing legend Muhammed Ali by coach Malik Scott ahead of his trilogy fight with Tyson Fury.
The American was a dominant heavyweight champion for half a decade, but was stopped by Fury in their rematch in early 2020 after drawing in their first bout.
After the brutal loss he took to Fury, in which his corner had to throw in the towel in the seventh round, it appeared that despite a contractual obligation for a third, the Brit would face Anthony Joshua in a unification bout.
But despite Fury signing a contract to fight Joshua in Saudi Arabia on August 14, an arbitration case ruled that he would need to face Wilder a third time.
And now the former champion is channeling one of the greatest of all time in an effort to retain his heavyweight title.
"Muhammad Ali is one of my greatest fighters of all time," Scott told 78Sports TV in Wilder's first interview since the trilogy was announced.
"He very was magical in the ring, but it was the things he beat outside the ring that truly got my attention – Deontay Wilder is the closest thing to that in this time."
And with a July 24 date in Las Vegas now booked, Wilder added: “I’m ready to get this title back – we were contractually obligated to have a fight. He signed in black pen on to white paper.
“He gave his word. When you do all that, and we have the proof, you got to abide by that. You got to handle the business, and you can’t close the chapter without going through Deontay Wilder."
The ex-champion, who has won 42 of his 44 bouts, including 41 stoppages, has vowed to beat Fury in such a way that he will be unrecognizable.
He will need to show something different to the previous 19 rounds of action in which they have competed, where despite landing two knockdowns in their first fight, he has been unable to get his hand raised.
“My mentality is – you’ve been contemplating about hurting a person so bad, to the point you wanna disfigure him so his mother wouldn’t even know who he was. You wanna decapitate him in every way, like premeditated stuff.
“Now that we have an ETA and location of where we’re about to go, it makes training much more intensified. Now it means something now. It’s for certain now.
“There’s nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. You got to go through me. I’m the hardest puncher in heavyweight history, and I’m going to continue to do that."
Both Wilder and new coach Scott are confident in their ability to get the job done against Fury, which could even lead to a fourth bout between the two as the scores will be level at 1-1 with a draw in their initial bout.
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