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Coach Jay Deas opens up about Deontay Wilder’s first spar in his gym

Anthony Cocks

Australian-based boxing journalist Anthony Cocks has been covering the sport for over 15 years for various print and online publications. He refuses to believe that Roberto Duran ever lost to Tommy Hearns and says that Jeff Fenech would destroy Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali on the same night.

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The trainer of WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder 40-0 (39) has spoken about the first time he realised the talent that the undefeated American knockout artist had – and it came very early in his boxing career.

Coach Jay Deas said that Wilder was a raw kid with a lot of ambition and not much talent when he first arrived at gym.

“That first time I had Deontay sparring, he was sparring a heavyweight,” said Deas on BT Sport’s No Filter Boxing. “He was a good, solid journeyman heavyweight who had been around the world and probably had 20 to 25 professional fights.

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“Deontay was all arms and legs, heart and punch. He didn’t have that much in the way of technique – there was not a lot of time to work on it.”

What he lacked in terms of skill he made up for with his rare power.

“Deontay caught him with a right hand and knocked the heavyweight down,” continued Deas. “The heavyweight was on the ground and had a big smile on his face.

“He gets up, smiles at me and says ‘whatever you do, keep him!’”

Wilder, 33, has improved exponentially since then. And that’s a good thing.

The exceptional puncher will face the toughest test of his entire pro career when he defends his WBC heavyweight title against lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury at Los Angeles’ Staples Center this Saturday night.

This week the 30-year-old self-styled ‘Gypsy King’ cited his religious conviction as the reason he would be victorious against the ‘Bronze Bomber’.

“In this fight, I’m the one bringing the light,” Fury insisted. “Deontay is talking about his alter-egos, but I hope he brings all his demons to the ring and I will punish them.

“Evil cannot defeat the light. I have God on my side. Another reason I’m unbeatable.”

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