- One of boxing’s hardest punchers Deontay Wilder returns to the ring October 15.
- Wilder fights Robert Helenius in a Premier Boxing Champions on Fox Sports PPV event.
- Oleksandr Usyk is expected at ringside, and Wilder has his crosshairs set on the world champ.
“When it’s dealing with a title shot you’ve got to jump on it when the opportunity presents itself,” Wilder told Insider and other reporters ahead of a media workout Thursday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.
At face value, it may not seem like the 36-year-old has time on his side, but Wilder entered the fight game late in life, learned quickly, and ranks amongst the heaviest hitters in the sport’s history.
His right hand is a renowned equalizer. Wilder can be down on the cards and look like he’s heading for defeat. But he can turn things around by scoring a knockdown because of his uncanny ability to close the distance while using a pawing jab as a decoy to set up that thunderous right.
At the workout, his trainer, friend, and confidant, Malik Scott, watched over Wilder’s warm-up and oversaw a 25-minute round of various punch routines, blocking, and evasion.
Some of the repertoires included updated maneuvers, like unrelenting piston-like jabbing while moving forward, and ensuring a defensive guard remained high at all times.
“You’re the hardest puncher in the history of the sport,” Scott told Wilder at one point in the workout. “We have to work on defense.”
—Al Dawson (@AlanDawsonSport) September 22, 2022
Wilder, the best heavyweight in the United States, returns to the ring on October 15 to headline a Premier Boxing Champions on Fox Sports PPV event against Robert Helenius at the Barclays Center in New York City.
It is his first bout since completing a trilogy of fights with old rival Tyson Fury, whom he drew with once, and lost to twice.
Insider understands that those close to Wilder are hoping for a highlight-reel knockout — the kind of viral clip that became synonymous with his rise to prominence.
Should that happen, he’ll likely recapture a lot of the momentum he had during his 10-fight reign as the WBC champ.
Wilder wants to challenge Usyk for the Ukraine boxer’s world titles
Wilder said he has “a lot of things lined up” when it comes to potential opponents after Helenius.
There is, after all, a big, in-house fight to be made between himself and PBC stablemate Andy Ruiz Jr. that could headline a PPV show on the weekends closest to Cinco de Mayo or Juneteenth — big dates in boxing’s calendar.
However, Wilder would also welcome a title shot against Usyk, who recently beat Anthony Joshua in back-to-back bouts to wrest the WBA, WBO, and IBF world titles from the British boxer.
Usyk is expected to be ringside when Wilder walks through the ropes to fight Helenius. “It’s good to know that Usyk will be in the arena,” Wilder said Thursday. “Welcome to a great show.”
He added: “For Usyk to be able to bless me with a title shot, when I’ve blessed so many during my reign, it’s a great feeling.
“So we’re going to get past October 15, and then after that, we can see what happens. There’s a lot of options in the works for me.”
Wilder and Scott say they’re not looking past Helenius
Wilder and Scott both said that they’ve prepared sufficiently for Helenius and are not looking past ‘The Nordic Nightmare,’ but their ambitions in the sport are higher than a mere win in mid-October.
Helenius, according to Scott, represents “a big dangerous fight,” which Wilder will pass “with flying colors.”
But Scott wants “big-time boxing” for his fighter, and has his sights set on “Usyk or Joshua.”
“These are the kind of fights he gets up for, and I truly believe that Deontay Wilder is the only heavyweight in the world that can beat Oleksandr Usyk,” Scott said.