Deontay Wilder believes Oleksandr Usyk is “too small” to become a world heavyweight champion.
Usyk who was successful in his heavyweight debut against Chazz Witherspoon on Saturday night, is now targeting the heavyweight crown to add to the undisputed cruiserweight title that he captured last year.
Speaking to the media the 33-year-old from Alabama has been quoted as saying “He’s not a threat to me,”
“He’s too small for me. He does a lot of movement but that doesn’t faze me.”
WBC champion nicknamed the “Bronze Bomber” is four inches taller than Usyk with a five-inch reach advantage. They are unbeaten in a combined 58 pro fights.
Usyk retained his status as the mandatory challenger to the WBO heavyweight title after extending his unbeaten record to 17-0 last weekend. That title will be defended by Andy Ruiz Jr against Anthony Joshua on December 7, live on Sky Sports Box Office and DAZN, and Usyk has the winner in his sights to fight for the unified belts next year.
Tony Bellew, who was beaten by Usyk in 2018, believes his former foe’s best chance at capturing a heavyweight title would come against Wilder.
“Wilder, and that’s an easy answer,” Bellew said. “Don’t get me wrong, if Wilder lands on him then it’s not going to end well for Usyk, but you can say that about any heavyweight who Wilder lands on.
“I just think [Joshua and Tyson Fury] are too big for him. Fundamentally, he’s a much better boxer than all of them, and I include Fury in that, but he’s just too small to compete with them for 12 rounds. I think the size of Fury and Joshua would be a massive advantage and I don’t think Usyk could overcome it.
“If he was to fight Andy Ruiz tomorrow, then I think he’d win that fight by just being himself and doing what he does best. There are only a few guys I don’t see him winning against, but he’s by far the most skilled fighter in the division and that will always give him a chance.”
Wilder first defends his WBC title against Luis Ortiz in a rematch on November 23 and plans a highly anticipated second fight with Fury in 2020.
When asked who his biggest threat is, Wilder went onto say: “Myself. I have something that I’ve been blessed with. It lasts from the first to the 12th – it never goes away.
“People may think I’m fatigued or out of it but, if you get hit, there are repercussions to be paid. It’s amazing because I don’t even know the strength of my own power.
“I hold my fiancée’s hand and she says: ‘Baby, you’re squeezing me too tight’. I am very heavy handed.
By Kenny Leavett.