The 6-foot-7 WBC World Heavyweight Champion took the opportunity to do so just ahead of his upcoming November 4 fight at Barclays Center.
Wilder discussed his exasperating past, to which he’s been saddled with excessive disapproval from fight fans, and some media alike, despite largely uncontrollable circumstances.
He’s been labeled a “cherry picker,” a term used to slander fighters known only to take on easy obstacles as opposed to fighting the best fighters available.
Well, about that.
In July, 2016, Wilder took on over-the-hill challenger Chris Arreola, who he defeated with one arm, two months after his fight fell through with then top heavyweight contender Alexander Povetkin.
Povetkin tested positive for a banned substance, and despite the fight being in his home country of Russia after his side won a purse bid, the fight was off, and Wilder, who traveled to Russia days early, found out the bad news while already in enemy territory, returning to the states with his title, and no opponent.
Earlier this year, Wilder won a civil case against Team Povetkin while set to face another former top-challenger in Andrzej Wawrzyk, who also subsequently failing a drug test, and Gerald Washington served as a replacement.
Back-to-back fights, so, third time's a charm, right? Nope.
“Man, it’s been crazy,” he said at Barclays Center on October 14. “I’ve been the most frustrated guy around. Y’all see me all the time saying I’m the best, calling these guys out. The best are supposed to fight the best, right? I’ve been doing that all the time.”
The reason Wilder (38-0, 37 KO’s) is facing Bermane Stiverne (25-2-1, 21 KO’s), the man he originally defeated for the WBC title in January 2015 by decision, on Saturday at Barclays Center is twofold.
On one hand, Stiverne is the WBC number-one contender, again, but more importantly, the previous challenger, Luis “King Kong” Ortiz, an arguable top-heavyweight in the world, failed (another) drug test beforehand.
Somehow, the backlash has unfairly landed on Wilder’s front.
“When you criticize me do your research,” Wilder told members of the media. “I’ve called out everyone, everyone you consider the best.”
Wilder doesn’t even want Stiverne, but he’ll have a chance to knockout the only man he’s taken to distance. His promoter, the Brooklyn-born and bred Lou DiBella, lent voice in defense of Wilder, on the notion of Wilder possibly feeling “cursed.”
“He doesn’t have the luxury to feel cursed,” asserted DiBella. “It’s Christmas for Bermane Stiverne. We did everything in our power not to fight him, including take money out of Wilder’s pocket.
“The press should curse the guys who are cheating,” he continued. “Don’t curse the guy that’s trying to do the right thing.”
Wilder highlighted the hidden hypocrisy he feels emanating from critics.
“When it comes to me, they’ll praise a cheater,” he said. “Look at Roy Jones Junior when Povetkin tested positive, he’s supporting that, but when they look at me it’s ‘he ain’t fight nobody.’”
DiBella chimed in on the prospect of a clash with WBA Super, IBF and IBO world title-holder Anthony Joshua, who recorded a stoppage victory over Carlos Takam Saturday in a title defense in the United Kingdom.
“I don’t think he’s got to do anything to justify getting a fight with Anthony Joshua,” DiBella said of Joshua, who is 20-0 with 20 KO’s and a 2012 Olympic Goal Medalist. “Where’s Anthony Joshua screaming ‘I want Deontay Wilder’ right now?”