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Deontay Wilder calls Anthony Joshua a coward and warns division: ‘After fighting me you don’t have a life to live’

The Independent logo The Independent 12/10/2017 Luke Brown
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WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder has courted controversy by claiming he wants to hurt his opponents “to the point where you do not even have a life to live,” as well as accusing his rival Anthony Joshua of buying his first world title.

Wilder is set to defend his belt against the Canadian Bermane Stiverne on November 4, after his scheduled opponent Luis Ortiz tested positive for traces of two banned diuretics — hydrochlorothiazide and chlorothiazide — in the build-up to the fight.

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And in an interview ahead of the contest, to be held in New York City, Wilder controversially claimed that he was unable to control his temper inside of the ring and that he aimed to inflict maximum damage on them.

“They were already terrified of me and when I say 'they', I mean all the top guys in the heavyweight division,” he told the boxing website fighthype.com.

“I'm not saying they're all scared of me, I know some of them want to fight me and really feel they can beat me but I do put fear in these fighters' hearts and they should have fear because I'm coming in to try and really hurt you to the point where you don't even have a life to live.

“I'm on some life, death threatening s***, try to take your life type s***. That's what I'm on when I get in that ring because the Bronze Bomber takes over. When I'm outside, I'm Deontay.

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Wilder has held the WBC heavyweight title since 2015 (Getty)

“That being said, these guys know that when I talk I'm for real, I'm serious. They know when my presence is in the room, you can feel it. That energy vibe starts to come.

“I don't play around man, this is what I want - I'm ready to unify the divsion. I'm a fighter so my mentality has to be that way when it comes to this game. This ain't even a game because you can't play when it comes to this business.

“I've got to be a savage in the mind but still be a gentleman at heart when it's over with.”

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Wilder beat Stiverne when the pair last fought, in 2015 (Getty)

Wilder also discussed his heavyweight rival Joshua, who currently holds the WBA and IBO titles and fights Kubrat Pulev in Cardiff the weekend before Wilder’s contest with Stiverne.

And the American insisted that he was the first man to express interest in a unification showdown with Joshua.

“Most definitely. I'm the first to call out everybody. If you put me in the category of calling out and talking s***, then I'm the man to beat.

“I'm that one, I've called them all out. Of course I've called Joshua out, he knows what I want. They know what I want. (Eddie) Hearn knows what I want. The UK fans know what I want and I want him.

“He don't say he's the best, he don't even know if he's the best or not but he's a champion.

“They bought that first belt from Charles Martin for sure. He wasn't even ready to step up to the plate but now you've filled the spot, you can't be talking about not being ready. You can't say that.

“You're a champion, I'm a champion. The people say you the best, they speak for you. You're a coward, you can't speak for yourself. I speak for myself and I say I'm the best. So let's see who's the best.”

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