News ID: 265868
Published: 0339 GMT February 19, 2020

Wilder vows to knock out Fury and surpass ‘idol’ Ali

Wilder vows to knock out Fury and surpass ‘idol’ Ali

Deontay Wilder vowed to surpass his "idol" Muhammad Ali by knocking out Tyson Fury to land another defense of the world heavyweight title.

The 34-year-old American looked focused on a chaotic Tuesday in Las Vegas, where Fury arrived on an open-top Ferrari for a grand welcome ceremony attended by hundreds of fans, BBC Sport reported.

The Briton, 31, continued to promise a knockout in Saturday's rematch, while his rival eyed moving beyond legend Ali's mark of 10 consecutive defenses of the heavyweight title.

"It will be an amazing feeling, my 11th consecutive defense," said Wilder.

Speaking to the 5 Live Boxing with Costello & Bunce podcast, he added, "It was a basic plan for me to get into boxing, become a journeyman and make a few dollars for my daughter.

"I never thought about being heavyweight champion of the world and being tied with my idol Ali.

"Once I've beaten Fury with a devastating knockout, I will go on even further to break the record and do more amazing things."

Wilder would trail only the likes of Joe Louis, Larry Holmes and Wladimir Klitschko on the list of heavyweights with the most consecutive defenses of the world title if he beats Fury 14 months on from their controversial draw in Los Angeles.


Tipped by greats


Wilder revealed he intends on weighing in heavier than he did for the first bout. He says he was "ill" in the buildup to that fight, which led to him scaling 212lbs. – his lowest weight since his debut in 2008.

The Alabama fighter has been tipped by big boxing names including Manny Pacquiao, Sugar Ray Leonard and Evander Holyfield.

Beating Fury would represent the biggest win of Wilder's 12-year professional career. He has long stated he is underappreciated in the US despite a five-year title reign, but believes this rematch has finally offered some recognition.

"It's been tough being here in America when your sport is not top of the podium," said Wilder, who is undefeated in 43 outings.

"One of my guys described this as like a Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao fight because of all the calls coming in for tickets.

"It made me feel good – but I have to keep my head, stay focused and deliver on Saturday. This is what I have always wanted and my moment in time has come. It took a long time. I can smile and say I will not disappoint come Saturday night."





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