Deontay Wilder has vowed to clean out the heavyweight division, naming Tyson Fury, Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jr as his top targets, and remains adamant that he knocked out Fury in their first encounter.
The American heavyweight, who hasn’t fought since his rematch defeat to Fury last February, is reportedly gearing up for a comeback fight with Charles Martin, whom Joshua beat to claim his first world title in 2016, but the 35-year-old also has his sights set on bigger fish. Speaking to Marcus Watson on Instagram Live, Wilder, with regards to his next fight, said, “Without naming the obvious that people obviously know [Fury], I’d love to fight guys I haven’t fought.
“You know, the ones at the top who I haven’t fought, haven’t got my hands on, that’s what I want.
“I know that’s kinda lame a little bit, to not name a name, but anyone I ain’t faced at the top, I’m talking about you.”
When asked if Joshua and Ruiz Jr were fights that the Bronze Bomber would consider, he responded, “Yeah. Any fighter that’s at the top that people haven’t seen me fight and people strongly want to see me fight, that’s who I want to fight.
“I can sit here and name names all day, that’s the easy part. I’m just gonna go to the top, if it’s someone I ain’t fought, that’s who I want to fight.
“I want to clean the division out.”
Wilder is also adamant that his first fight with Fury, which ended in a controversial draw, should have been a knockout win in his favour instead, suggesting that the referee gave the Briton a long count when he was knocked down in the 12th round.
"I definitely knocked him out. My referee at the time, I had Jack Reiss, if you go back and look at any of his fights, he stops a lot of fights early.
"Sometimes they don't even have to get up, they're waving it off. When I knocked Fury out, I've literally seen it for myself.
"That's one of the reasons why I was so surprised too, not only because of the count to but I've seen this man's eyes - you know when you're having good sex and your eyes roll back into your head?
"That's how his s*** was. But I've seen the veins popping out of his head and I knew he had a concussion. He was gone. That's a wave off, period."
The Alabaman will likely have to wait a while for any shot at either Fury or Joshua, with the two set for a huge all-British heavyweight unification showdown this summer. Promoter Bob Arum stated this week that there was “less than a handful” of issues to sort out ahead of the bout.