Heavyweight knockout specialist Deontay Wilder took aim at the notion that Malik Scott "took a dive" during Wilder's recent first-round stoppage victory, as well as fellow contenders Bermane Stiverne, Chris Arreola, Bryant Jennings and Amir Mansour during a Saturday interview with RingTV.com.
The 6-foot-7, 2008 Olympic bronze medalist Wilder's 96-second stoppage win of Scott on March 15 made him the mandatory challenger to the winner of the May 10 Stiverne-Arreola rematch. A unanimous decision winner over Arreola in April 2013, Stiverne will meet him again at the Galen Center, University of Southern California, Los Angeles (as of press time), with the vacant WBC heavyweight title up for grabs.
Wilder is part of a tournament-like chase for the WBC's belt that includes a second-mandatory ordered by the WBC between unbeaten fighters Jennings and Mike Perez. The Jennings-Perez winner will face that between Wilder and the victor of the Stiverne-Arreola matchup.
As for the unbeaten Mansour, he will battle former RING cruiserweight champion Steve Cunningham on April 4.
Check out what Wilder had to say during the interview below.
Deontay Wilder on the fight with Scott:
"They come up with the silliest stuff. A lot of people say that he took a dive. They say that we paid him. They say that me and Malik were in agreement and that I winked at him or he winked at me and that that was the signal. But that's just ridiculous. When it's something that don't seem real, people tend to want to put an excuse on it as to why it happened the way that it did.
"Why in the world would he want to take a dive with everything that was a stake? Whoever wins this fight was going to be fighting for the WBC and the heavyweight championship belt. Who would want to give up the opportunity to be a world champion? Can't nobody pay me no amount of money in the world to not fight for the title.
"That's something that I can put my name on and something that I could be pround of accomplishing. It says that I had that title among all of the other great heavyweight champions of the world. The money that somebody could offer me, I would be making double that by having this belt.
"So who would want to do that? People just don't understand, man. That punch was definitely a temple shot that hit him. Anybody that gets hit with a shot like that, they'll tell you that a temple shot is one of the hardest to recover from. People don't understand.
"I'm walking in my destiny. I'm a warrior. Nobody is going to be able to stop that. The only person who is going to be able to stop me is me. I'm the only person who can keep me from achieving my destiny."
Wilder on Philadelphia-based Jennings and Mansour picking Scott to beat him:
"His own guys from Philly, Bryant Jennings and all of those guys. At first, Amir Mansour and Bryant Jennings, they were like, 'Aw, Malik Scott's gonna whip Deontay's ass.'
"Now, all of a sudden, it's 'Aw, he took a dive.' Before, they said he's going to do this and that, then, they turned their back on him. They're even from the same gym.
"They'll be for you because they know you've got the skills and the ability to do what you're supposed to be able to do. But then, when you get in there and you get hit and you go down, it's different all of a sudden.
"I mean, everybody can have a bad night once in a while but now, they want to betray you and turn the switch and say that the fight was fixed? That's just crazy, man."
Wilder on who will win Stiverne-Arreola II:
"That's a good one. It depends on who executes against the other guy's weakness the best. I really feel that Arreola is going to come and fight [in] this fight. I don't know if he's going to win but there is just something in my gut that tells me that he's coming to fight and that it's his time.
"If Stiverne is smart enough, then he's going to target Arreola's nose. Arreola's nose is bigger than his face. So he should target his nose because, the thing about it is that once you break something, it's never the same anymore. If [Stiverne] was smart, he would target his nose and break it and make it bleed to where he can't breathe anymore.
"But even if he does target Chris' nose, I think that Chris is going to still come on like he did the last time but I think that he's definitely coming to fight this fight. Chris has been quiet. He ain't been doing any interviews; he ain't been nowhere. Chris usually talks a lot. He's always out there doing some interviewing somewhere.
Wilder on being ringside for Stiverne-Arreola II:
"May 10, I'll be there. Definitely. If it's in the U.S., I'll definitely be there. They were talking about somewhere in Mexico at one tim and I was debating whether I was going to go.
"But if it's in the U.S., I'm definitely there. My feet are going to be on the ground because I have to put pressure on the winner.
Wilder on how a fight would go between him and either Stiverne or Arreola would go:
"Early knockouts. Both early knockouts, man. Like I have said before, anybody under 6'5", they don't have a chance against me. Not saying that somebody 6'5" or over does but anybody under 6'5" don't have a chance against me, man. Stiverne and Areola are both 6'2" or 6'3" at the most. I think that Stiverne would be an easier fight than Arreola.
"Arreola, he likes to come and lead with his head too much. He don't move his head enough and that could be dangerous when it comes to a guy like me who can fight at a distance and keep you at bay. But I also have a nice clean-up game on the inside too that I want to be able to put on display and show to the people as Arreola tries to get in.
"But It think that Stiverne would be much easier, because he likes to sit on the outside. That's every big man's dream, to be able to fight from the outside – especially if you know how to use distance like I do. Stiverne is not a pressure fighter. He'll stay on the outside but that won't be effective against me because my arms are too long.
"I'm tall and I fight tall and I use my arm length and my leverage. I'll be the quickest fighter that either of them has ever seen in the ring. I'm so tall and so long that on the outside of the ring, you can't really predict how fast I am until you get into that ring with me. Everybody that I've been in front of and every camp that I've had, they say, 'You're so fast.'
"I'm so long that you can't see it from the outside. With Stiverne, all I can see is that I'm tagging him all day long with the jab, jab, and then, all of a sudden, landing the right hand and then coming back with the hook and stuff like that where he's going to have to get out of his game plan and his comfort zone.
"That's because he'll be getting hit too much but [Stiverne] can only do what he's used to doing. Bring on either one of those guys. I just want to fight them. I could tag team both of them if they want to do that. People are already saying, 'I can't wait for Deontay Wilder to fight for the title because this is going to be the end for him.' But they said the same thing about Malik."