Deontay Wilder claims he is “the hardest-hitting puncher in history” as he aims to settle a score with Tyson Fury in their rematch this weekend.
The WBC heavyweight champion’s vaunted power has seen him earn 41 knockouts of his 42 opponents, with only Fury surviving until the final bell.
However, even he was rendered briefly unconscious by a 12th-round assault in their 2018 clash, only to somehow get to his feet and draw on the scorecards.
Alabama native Wilder is confident Fury will not be able to survive a second time.
“I’ve always had power,” the 34-year-old said ahead of Saturday’s rematch in Las Vegas. “I always tell the story of how my grandmother said I was anointed by God, that God is trying to use me for things.
“It’s just all about living, coming into this world and finding your purpose in life. I think I found one of my purposes in life, and of course that’s whooping ass and taking names. And I do that very well.
“I’ve just been blessed tremendously. It’s one of those things. I can’t describe how it transpired. When you have a calling in your life, it’s just that. I just have a calling in my life and
I’m providing my service to my greatness, I’m showing the world who I am and what I am. The champion is not going anywhere.”
Wilder, a first-class talker in a business of motormouths, does however share the credit for his fistic ferocity.
“Most of these things become muscle memory for me,” he said. “When I’m preparing for a fighter, the preparation for the fight is always great. I always have great sparring partners coming in and giving me great looks that mimic the opponents.
“So when it’s time for me to fight them, there are certain things, there’s a look. I’ve got the best coaches in the world (Jay Deas and Mark Breland) and none of my coaches ever get acknowledgement and they never get recognised.
“You’ve got one of the baddest men on the planet, the hardest hitting puncher in history, and none of my coaches get recognised for their greatness.
“They do a great job of scouting my sparring partners so I can have the best possible (preparation) to fight some of these guys. They do a lot of studying films to pinpoint mistakes that my opponent makes. So when I’m in the ring, I understand that and I can recognise it. It becomes a muscle memory.”
Wilder, who boasts knockout wins over Dominic Breazeale and Luis Ortiz since the first Fury fight, added: “When you have power, it is a blessing and a curse.
“It’s a blessing because when I hit guys, they’re either hurt or they’re going to the canvas. And it’s a curse, I feel, because I have so much power that when I hit things, I’m either hurting my opponent or I’m hurting myself and that’s it, there’s nothing in between.”