|'The Bomb squad' - Cuz Hill, Jay Deas, Deontay Wilder, Mark Breland and Russ Anber|
The heavyweight division is pretty interesting right now. Wladimir Klitschko currently rules supreme and is showing no signs of wanting to retire (he's even spoken about carrying on for another ten years!). Below him there are a series of contenders jostling for position. The entertaining and combustible pair of Tyson Fury and Dereck Chisora are soon to rumble again, with the winner likely to get a shot at Wlad somewhere down the line. I'm also looking forward to seeing Olympic gold medallist Anthony Joshua on the Froch-Groves bill this weekend.
However, probably the most intriguing and, to my mind, exciting heavyweight prospect out there is Tuscaloosa's Deontay Wilder. With his frightening power and undefeated record, as well as that remarkable 100% KO record, Wilder could be the saviour the heavyweight division is looking for, and the man to put the heavyweight division back on the map in the USA.
I've been lucky enough to interview the whole of the 'Bomb Squad' team, who are working to ensure Deontay becomes the champ; I also got to quiz the big man himself. It's a quite a group that Wilder and his trainer / manager Jay Deas have assembled, including such wise and experienced boxing heads as Mark Breland and Russ Anber. By the way, these interviews will form the basis of an extensive 6,000 word piece on the 'Bronze Bomber' which will feature in the first volume of Boxiana, to be published later this year. (I'm pretty confident, by the way, that this article will prove to be the definitive, and most detailed, piece on Wilder to appear thus far in his career).
Anyway, shameless plug to one side, Deontay is currently the mandatory contender for Bermane Stiverne's recently won WBC Heavyweight title. However, Stiverne and his promoter Don King have been pretty quiet about what their next move might be, and when / if they will fulfill this mandatory commitment.
To check out what the latest situation was, I got in touch with Jay Deas, who's a real gentleman, by the way, and has been with Deontay since he first walked into a boxing gym. Deas admitted that the Wilder camp are keen to get the fight signed and sealed.
"As far as a fight before the end of the year we are pushing very hard for that very thing," Deas told me. "Why not? It will be a career high payday for both guys and it's a fight everyone wants to see. Why put it off? Stiverne didn't have to go 12 brutal rounds [against Arreola] He's healthy, sharp, still in shape and ready to go. My guy Wilder always stays in shape so we're sitting on ready. Let's do the thing as soon as possible!"
Deas was generous with the compliments when I asked him for his view of Stiverne's six-round stoppage victory against Arreola. "I thought Stiverne showed good hand speed and skill," he confessed. "He stuck to his gameplan and believed in himself even when things weren't going his way. I was impressed with him."
I agree with Jay that Bermane showed plenty of the right stuff against Arreola. Nevertheless, I'd expect Deontay to put him to sleep. It will be an entertaining fight though, and the winner will doubtless get a huge payday against Wladimir. Along with Fury, I give Wilder the best chance of dethroning the giant Ukrainian, so here's hoping Don King and the Wilder team get the Stiverne fight signed, sealed and delivered as soon as possible.
Keep in touch with the Bomb Squad by following Jay Deas @TheRealJayDeas, Deontay Wilder @BronzeBomber and Russ Anber @RussAnber
Luke G. Williams