Deontay Wilder, who stands 6-foot-7, will serve as a sparring partner for former heavyweight titleholder David Haye in preparation for Haye’s all-English clash with unbeaten 6-foot-9 contender Tyson Fury on Sept. 28 in Manchester, England, Wilder’s co-manager, Jay Deas, informed RingTV.com.
“Deontay leaves on Aug. 28, and he’ll return on or about Sept. 18,” said Deas of Wilder (29-0, 29 knockouts), a 2008 Olympic bronze medalist who is coming off a first-round stoppage of ex-beltholder Sergei Liakhovich. “So … he’ll be sparring with David Haye for about three weeks in London.”
Wilder celebrated his 27th birthday last Oct. 22 in Austria while spending time as the primary sparring partner for RING, IBF, WBA and WBO champion Wladimir Klitschko as he trained for his unanimous decision victory over Mariusz Wach in November of last year.
Wilder also served in a similar capacity for Haye leading up to his unanimous decision loss to Klitschko in July of 2011.
“To be able to get this kind of experience and to get the kind of sparring, the caliber of sparring that he can get with David Haye, we just jumped at the chance. I’m reminded of what Wladimir Klitschko said. He told us that he was always surprised when guys would turn him down to get some sparring in with him, saying that they were contenders and not sparring partners, that sort of thing. Wlad just laughs that off,” said Deas.
“Because when he was an up-and-coming guy, all the way up to his first title, he said that he would get sparring from the likes of Evander Holyfield and guys like that. He said that it was invaluable to his career to get that sort of work. So I feel the same way. If we can get that level of sparring in, we’re all for it. Even if Deontay one day fights David Haye, or one of those other guys that he’s sparred with, then that’s fine. Deontay is one of the youngest heavyweights in America, so to be able to get better is the main objective, and we see this as an opportunity to do just that.”
“We’re just waiting to see how everything shakes out, and we’re hoping to hear something in the next week or so in terms of ideas. Ideally, we’d like for Deontay to be back in the ring in October, early November,” said Deas.
“I would really like to get two fights in before the end of the year if possible, and then, if everything goes well, I could definitely see a title fight in early 2014. I think that he’s just a couple of more fights away.”
Photos courtesy of Deontay Wilder
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org