(Reuters) - WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder believes he is the most dangerous man in the division, saying that he could beat anybody at any time ahead of his title defense against Luis Ortiz on Saturday.
Wilder, nicknamed the Bronze Bomber, has won all 39 of his professional fights, with only one of those victories being by a points decision. The 32-year-old has held his heavyweight title since 2015.
The American is raring to take on WBA, IBF and IBO world champion Anthony Joshua, who has said former champion Tyson Fury was his biggest threat.
Wilder, however, believes that the 28-year-old Joshua needs to think again.
“Everyone knows that Tyson Fury isn’t the biggest threat in the heavyweight division. Everyone knows who is the man in the heavyweight division, hands down,” Wilder told Sky Sports.
“Everybody knows who has the power to beat anyone at any given time, in the first round or 15 seconds into the 12th round.
“I have that ability to do anything I want. I am the most dangerous man in the division, hands down.”
Promoter Eddie Hearn said in November that talks were underway to arrange a fight between Wilder and Joshua in 2018 but the bout is yet to be confirmed with the Briton taking on WBO champion Joseph Parker on March 31 instead.
Wilder played up his power, saying that opponents he had knocked out in previous bouts had failed to make a successful comeback to the ring.
“It’s not just that I knock them out, it’s the way I knock them out. It’s how I knock them out, it’s what they do after I knock them out - that’s what makes me unique... “ Wilder said.
“So if he (Joshua) says that, and he needs to keep that in his mind to feel confident because we know this fight will happen. If that gives him the confidence he needs to try and beat me, he is entitled to his own opinion.
“But I think the fact remains: I am the most dangerous man in the heavyweight division. I can’t wait to prove it...”
Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis