Frankenstein. That’s the name Deontay Wilder has for his right arm. Those in the know call it the most lethal weapon in boxing. And nobody knows better than Tyson Fury what the full force of Frankenstein feels like.
Somehow, the Gypsy King rose from the floor in the 12th round of their first fight in December 2018, after being pummelled by Wilder’s trademark right, followed by a left hook just as he was tumbling to the canvas.
Styles can change, weights can fluctuate. But Wilder will always have his right arm. His constant. 43 fights, 41 knockouts. Encrypted on the back of this most powerful of right hands is a quote from the bible. “Blessed be the Lord my strength which teacheth my hands to war and my fingers to fight.” Psalm 144. His prayers have been answered, time and time again.
As a true believer in God, he gains a lot of his inner and mental strength from his faith but it is his physical power that is simply out of this world. None of his first 32 fights went further than the fourth round, with his fastest knockout taking just 33 seconds one thing is clear. This right arm is not normal.
He hits so hard he does himself damage and this is the reason he has given a name to the arm that has fired him to superstardom inside the ring. “I've done a lot of damage to this hand,” he told the Daily Mail. “I have broken it. I have broken bones throughout the whole hand. My wrist, my pinkie, my forearm, I tore my bicep, third-degree burns. The list goes on and on. I call this Frankenstein because so many different operations have been done."
Despite having metal pins inserted in 2009, he still broke his right hand a further two times in the following seven years. Given his freakish power, his bicep often suffers under immense strain, something that he claims limited him in the first fight against Fury. Few other boxers have injured themselves in the way that Wilder has and to have seven surgeries on one arm - and to still be able to punch like he can - is almost unheard of.
In fact, even doctors have not been able to explain his power. After a routine MRI scan, Wilder recalls what the doctor said to him.
"I have so much power that my doctor, he looked at me and one time he looked at one of my MRI scans and he just shook his head. He said: 'I just don't understand, you are truly blessed. God has truly blessed you with tremendous power. Because no human is supposed to have this much power," he told the Daily Mail.
"He said: 'You have so much power that one of two things happen when you hit someone: either you knock them out and hurt them or you are the one to get hurt'. I will hurt things but I hurt myself because of my power. It is like a blessing and a curse."
His reach of 83in is long for his 6ft 7in frame, (the average man of that height can reach 79in) but not abnormal when you look at the boxing annuls. Lennox Lewis boated a longer reach despite being two inches shorter than Wilder and opponent Fury has a two-inch advantage in both height and reach.
Perhaps our greatest insight into his power is those who have shared a ring with him. Having been knocked out in round nine, fellow American Eric Molina knows exactly what power Wilder possesses.
“Wilder could knock out a bull if he hit it in the head. It’s just a matter of ‘when’ in that fight,” Molina told FightHype.com. “If he touches anybody with that right hand, on any part of the head, they’re going to dance or go down and go to sleep. It is what it is."
Former British heavyweight champions David Haye brought a young Wilder in to spar with him several times throughout his career.
“His punch power is 10 out of 10, that’s it," he told The Sun newspaper. "I don’t know how else to say it. You know when you’ve been hit by him. It’s very different to anyone else. He is the hardest puncher I’ve ever been in the ring with.”
Meanwhile, one man who has had the misfortune of being in the ring with one of the hardest punchers in heavyweight history not once but twice, is also in awe of the sheer power of that right hand. Cuban Luis Ortiz was stopped in the tenth round first time around before his rematch was devastatingly ended in the seventh round, when he was ahead on points.
“His right hand is more powerful then one could imagine,” Ortiz told Business Insider. “His power is like a whip type of punch, like Thomas Hearns. He’s got long arms ya know. Wilder is the best heavyweight of this millennium … [and] deserves everything he gets, he’s earned that in the ring.”
Strength, speed and surgery. The power Wilder possesses in his right arm is simply freakish. Avoid the full force of Frankenstein and Fury can win. If not, it's hard to see how he can survive this time round.
But whatever happens, you can bet your right arm we're in for one hell of a fight.