LAS VEGAS – World Boxing Council (WBC) heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder says once he has surpassed the late great Muhammad Ali’s record by beating Tyson Fury in their much-anticipated rematch on Saturday, the he will go onto bigger targets.
The two giants meet in the world-famous MGM Grand Garden Arena for the first time since their epic duel 18 months ago in Los Angeles.
Britain’s Fury is unbeaten in 30 fights after he climbed off the canvas twice and dramatically rose from an unconscious position in the 12th round to earn a draw against Wilder.
The self-proclaimed "bronze bomber" Wilder, who has a devastating punch resulting in 41 knock-outs from 42 fights, aims to surpass Ali’s mark of 11 consecutive title defences with another vicious finish.
"This is my eleventh consecutive title defence. It’s an amazing feeling," Wilder said during Tuesday’s grand arrivals at the MGM. "That ties me with my idol Muhammad Ali and when I knock out Tyson Fury, I will go on even further and do amazing things."
It’s a classic puncher versus boxer debate with many boxing experts believing Wilder wins by knockout while others predict former champion Fury will out-box his opposite to a points decision.
Fury won his first set of heavyweight titles by dethroning Wladimir Klitschko on points in 2015 before he was stripped of his belts for inactivity after a period of drug abuse and mental health issues.
The man who calls himself the "Gypsy King" because of his travelling heritage has a different approach this time around, claiming at Tuesday’s arrivals he would dismiss Wilder by knockout in two rounds.
He added that a points win for Wilder after 12 rounds was unrealistic. "If it goes 12 rounds I have won," Fury told the BBC.
"One of the greatest boxers that has ever lived in [Floyd] Mayweather has come from this town and they can appreciate a master boxer here [in Las Vegas].
"When someone stands up to Deontay Wilder, he will fold. I will prove that on Saturday."
The winner of this clash will likely chase the first-ever four-belt undisputed fight with Britain’s Anthony Joshua, who retained his titles after a seismic loss to Andy Ruiz in a December rematch held in Saudi Arabia.
Wilder reportedly made an offer of 50 million dollars to fight Joshua but with the two former Olympic medallists contracted to rival TV networks, a deal could not happen.
"My goal is to have one champion, one face, one name in the heavyweight division and I’m in pursuit of that," said Wilder.
"This fight [against Fury] is living proof that no matter what network people are on or what network I’m on, the best fights can happen. It’s a time to put all egos aside so we can finally eat at the same dinner table together."
Fury has a much shorter career plan as he aims to retire for a second and final time after losing his belts in a trilogy of farewell fights.
"Three more fights, whether it takes a year or 18 months," he said when prompted about his future in the ring.
"The Gypsy King will be no more within two years that’s for sure."