WBC heavyweight world champion Wilder claimed that his in-ring persona, known as ‘The Bronze Bomber’, wants “a body on my record” in comments that have not gone down well within the boxing community.
Wilder is lined up for a future fight with WBA and IBF world champion Anthony Joshua – who faces Joseph Parker on Saturday night in Cardiff – and could also face British opponents in Dillian Whyte and Bellew.
But his remarks about wanting to kill an opponent will be received poorly from all three, especially given recent events within British boxing.
Speaking to The Breakfast Club, Wilder said: “I want a body on my record, I want one.
“The Bronze Bomber, he want [a body]. I always tell people, when I'm in the ring, like I am the Bronze Bomber. With him, it's so crazy, when I'm in the Bronze Bomber, I don't really care.
“Everything about me changes. I don't get nervous, I don't get scared, I don't get butterflies, I don't have no feeling towards the man I'm fit to fight.”
Former cruiserweight world champion Bellew, who is preparing for his 5 May rematch with David Haye after beating his heavyweight rival in March 2017, labelled Wilder a “senseless idiot” for his comments and admitted that it was a surprising to read such words from the 32-year-old given the pair have met in the past and got on as friends.
“If this is true, he’s a disgrace!” Bellew wrote on Twitter. “A lot of fighters have a family there [sic] providing for so does this mean he wants to kill the father of a child? Senseless idiot! I didn’t have him down as this tbh. When I met him last found him to be quite bright! Sad if it’s true.”
Wilder is also facing an investigation for his comments after Mauricio Sulaiman, the World Boxing Council president, labelled his words as “not acceptable, adding on Twitter that “the WBC disciplinary committee will look into this delicate matter”.
He added: “I have known @BronzeBomber for a long time, I respect him and do not believe he could say that he wants to kill someone in the ring.”
Wilder’s record of 39 knockouts in 40 unbeaten fights puts him among the best knockout artists in the sport, although he is yet to face an opponent who ranks among the best in the heavyweight division. However, his recent victory over Luis Ortiz that came through a 10th round knockout did come as his most impressive outing yet.
But it was his 2016 knockout of Polish boxer Artur Szpilka that proved the most brutal, with some onlookers fearing for his life after he was brutally KO’d in the ninth round. Recalling that fight, Wilder said: “I thought I had one [body] one time, like I said, with Szpilka, because he wasn't breathing when he hit the canvas.
“Somebody's gotta go. I want that on my record, because when I'm in that state on mind, like I ain't myself.”
Wilder’s remarks are particularly ill-advised on this side of the Atlantic given the recent death of British boxer Scott Westgarth, who died after his victory over Dec Spelman in February. The Hexham-born fighter was knocked down during the fight, and after taking the victory via a points decision and giving a ringside interview, he was rushed to hospital where he later died.
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