Home Boxing News Deontay Wilder admits he is under pressure with Anthony Joshua fight hanging...

Deontay Wilder admits he is under pressure with Anthony Joshua fight hanging in the balance

Deontay Wilder. Photo credit: Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing

Deontay Wilder 43-2-1 (42) believes he has a riskier fight on his hands than rival Anthony Joshua 26-3 (23).

The former WBC heavyweight champion will face former WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker 33-3 (23) of New Zealand on the massive ‘Day of Reckoning’ card at Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Saturday night.

The bout will be the main support bout to former two-time WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight champion Joshua of Britain, who will face Swedish southpaw Otto Wallin 26-1 (14).

The 38-year-old Wilder and the 34-year-old Joshua are expected to face each other early next year if both are victorious this weekend.

“I’m taking the biggest risk because they’re looking past Parker – but I’m not,” Wilder said to TNT Sports’ Carl Frampton.

“Joshua is the biggest fight in combat sport, period. When people talk to me, the main thing they talk about is me and him, all the time.

“It applies pressure because the world wants to see [it].”

Wilder has boxed less than a round in past two years after blowing out Robert Helenius in under three minutes in October last year. Meanwhile, Kiwi Parker, 31, has already boxed three times this year alone.

“Deontay hasn’t been in the ring for a while, coming into this fight I’ve been busy, I’ve been active,” Parker said.

“Is he going to bring ring rust? Or is his training going to pay off?

“At this stage of my career, I take the best fights and the biggest fights and I don’t shy away from challenges.

“A lot of people are wary of him, and scared of the right hand that he possesses, but I’m all in, I’m all for it – I love to challenge myself.”

Wilder insisted the lack of recent activity will not harm his chances in the fight.

“Not at all,” he said. “When I look at that I just think I’m just reserved, I’m just fresh right now, and just ready to go.

“Most of all, [I’m] just excited. Although this is a short-notice fight that we both have, I’m a world-class athlete. This is nothing short of what I’m used to.”

Parker, who has defeated Jack Massey, Faiga Opelu and Simon Kean this year, has a simple game plan for the fight.

“I got good momentum, and I feel extremely confident going win this fight,” Parker said to iFL TV, adding that avoiding Wilder’s right hand bomb is key to victory.

“It’s that simple. I asked Tyson [Fury] about what advice he could give me and he said, ‘Stay away from the right hand and don’t get knocked out.’ It’s that simple, but it’s twelve rounds and he’s dangerous for every round.”

He added: “I’ve got good speed, movement and I’ve got good power myself. I’m going to use that to the best of my ability and performance very well.”