Deontay Wilder has recently analysed heavyweight rival Oleksandr Usyk, and believes the Ukrainian was a better fighter as a cruiserweight.
Usyk was undisputed champion at 200lbs before moving up to the blue ribbon division, where he toppled Anthony Joshua to take ownership of three of the four main world titles.
Despite Usyk’s success in his foray into the heavyweight division thus far, however, Wilder told The Good Fight he preferred the fighter he saw campaigning at the weight class below.
“I liked him [Usyk] better as a cruiserweight, with his movement and certain things. As a heavyweight, I think he’s good but, again, I like him better as a cruiserweight – but that’s just me.
I respect him as a fighter and as a human being. I hear a lot of great things about him, I’ve never heard no negativity about him and I can only judge him on the outside looking in.
But in terms of boxing, I liked him as a cruiserweight more.”
There was speculation last year that Wilder and Usyk could share a ring, after the latter’s successful rematch against Joshua in August.
Undisputed seems to be at the forefront of Usyk’s mind these days though, and he is heavily touted to face old Wilder foe and WBC world champion Tyson Fury next.
A deal for the pair to lock horns is said to be nearing completion, with the historic fight expected to land in the Middle East.
As for Wilder, he returned from defeat in his trilogy bout with Fury in explosive fashion last autumn, dispatching of Robert Helenius in just one round.
‘The Bronze Bomber’ has since been ordered to face Andy Ruiz Jr in a final eliminator for Fury’s WBC title.