Bernard Hopkins: Deontay Wilder can become heavyweight champion again
By Barry Holbrook: Bernard Hopkins is one of Deontay Wilder’s many believers thinking that he can come back and win another heavyweight world title, be it against Tyson Fury or Anthony Joshua.
Hopkins wants the former WBC champion Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs) to stop making excuses for his loss to Fury, and back in the ring and redeem himself against a top-quality heavyweight.
Bernard says if Wilder can’t get a high-level fighter to face him, he should face the best available guy. Wilder needs to get the rust out and sharpen up to prepare himself to face Joshua or Fury.
The excuses Wilder has made about his loss to Fury from last year has gotten him nowhere. Most boxing fans aren’t sympathetic to Wilder about the different reasons he’s come up with.
Instead of making things better for himself, Wilder had hurt his image and turned off Fury. The trilogy that Wilder was hoping to get against Fury is now gone, as he doesn’t plan on fighting him ever again.
Wilder can redeem himself
“Pull your bootstraps up and get back in the mix. He’s still a name, he’s still relevant. That’s the key,” said Bernard Hopkins to Fighthub about Deontay Wilder.
“The only thing now is you need to redeem yourself on some top quality. If it’s not in the top three, grab whoever you can grab to keep that engine going, which means you won’t have that rust on your back.
“Then call out the winner of Fury, whoever he fights, or if not, now you’ve earned your position to get back in the mix of the names like Fury or Joshua.
“He’s still in the mix, but now when you start saying things that you cant prove. That’s the key,” said Hopkins.
Wilder’s co-manager Shelly Finkel reportedly is interested in matching him against Charles Martin next possibly. That’s a good first step for Wilder to back in the ring after close to a year off.
Wilder needs to win two or three fights to put himself back in a mandatory position to force Joshua or Fury to fight him. If Fury is the last man standing after his two fights with Joshua, Wilder will be waiting.
It’s key for Wilder to try and pick up the mandatory position so that he can’t be avoided for years. Joshua would probably fight him, but not Fury.
Whatever purse split that Wilder would have gotten against Joshua in the past won’t be there, unfortunately. To get a good split for a fight against Joshua, Wilder will need to beat some quality guys like Dillian Whyte.
Wilder can become a heavyweight champion again
“When you’re saying things you can’t prove, you become now a sore loser,” said Hopkins about Wilder making unprovable comments. “The main thing is this; he’s got a lot of talent left. I still believe in him.
“The landscape out today. He can become heavyweight champion of the world again if he chooses to be that, and it not content on being who he became and the money he’s made so far.
“Now he’s got to start building his legacy. The great Muhammad Ali lost. The great Sugar Ray Robinson lost.
“There are more great fighters that lost and came back, and we wouldn’t forget their names because of they’ve done after that L. So that’s to Wilder if he ever sees it,” said Hopkins.
Wilder can become a heavyweight champion again, but he’s going to need to improve with his accuracy on his shots. Also, if Wilder fights Fury, he’s got to step off the ropes and start a lot faster.
Wilder won’t beat Fury if he’s fighting with his back against the ropes the entire fight because he’ll be a sitting duck.
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