Monday, September 23, 2013

Lem's latest: Wilder 'ready' for likely berth on Hopkins-Murat card

by Lem Satterfield
Sep 23rd, 2013

Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer informed recently that heavyweight knockout specialist Deontay Wilder could land on the undercard of Bernard Hopkins' IBF light heavyweight title defense againstKaro Murat on Oct. 26 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J.

After speaking over the weekend to Wilder's advisor, Al Haymon, about the prospect of appearing on the Showtime card, Wilder's trainer and co-manager, Jay Deas, said the fighter is "preparing like we're on."

"I talked to Al Haymon, like, maybe the day before yesterday. So that would have been Saturday. He indicated that all systems were go. It's not 100 percent confirmed yet, but he told us that everything looks good for that date. We told him that we would be ready...Our understanding is that we're on, and that we're preparing like we're on," said Deas.

"It's looking really good. We don't have an opponent lined up as of yet, but we've accepted it as far as would we be ready by Oct. 26. We said yes, absolutely, we'd be ready. Hopefully they'll bring in somebody. A big name is what I'd like. We'll see what's available on a month or so notice. But we're getting the same notice that whoever we're fighting is getting, so it's all good."

Schaefer indicated that part of the idea of bringing Wilder to the East Coast would be to piggyback on the wave created by Maryland-based heavyweight Seth Mitchell, who is 2-1 in Atlantic City after having stoppedChazz Witherspoon there and split bouts with Johnathon Banks. Mitchell lost his last fight by first-round stoppage to Chris Arreola on Sept. 7 in California.

"I think that the people appreciate the great, young promising American heavyweight," said Schaefer. "Talk about putting people in the right slots, I do believe that putting Deontay Wilder there in a heavyweight fight will add to the attraction."

A 6-foot-7 2008 Olympic bronze medalist, Wilder is coming off back-to-back first-round KOs of ex-beltholderSergei Liakhovich last month and 2000 Olympic gold medalist Audley Harrison in April.

"The main thing for me is that Deontay does better when he's busy, and we're on board with anything that keeps Deontay busy," said Deas, who trains the 27-year-old alongside 1984 Olympic gold medalist and professional titleholder Mark Breland.

"As far as Atlantic City goes, being up on the East Coast, that's the site of a lot of Arturo Gatti's fights, and it's the site where Mike Tyson knocked out Michael Spinks, which I was there for that fight. It's just a tremendous boxing area. It's a great opportunity for the media out of New York to see Deontay, so it's a great opportunity for exposure on all fronts."

Wilder served as a sparring partner for former heavyweight titleholder David Haye before his clash with unbeaten contender Tyson Fury was postponed after Haye suffered a cut during his final day of sparring on Friday, Sept. 19.

Deas said that Wilder "wasn't the one that cut" Haye, having left camp on Thursday, the day prior to the incident, according to Deas.

"Deontay was there over the course of about two and a half weeks. I don't know the number of rounds that they got in, but I'm going to guess that it was around 15-to-20 rounds, because you had, like, four guys there," said Deas.

"Deontay said that he had a real good experience with David Haye. He wasn't the one that cut him. Deontay said that contrary to popular belief, there weren't any knockdowns or anything like that, but they just fought real hard and had a real good camp."

Wilder celebrated his 27th birthday last Oct. 22 in Austria while spending time as the primary sparring partnerfor 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 had served in a similar capacity for Haye leading up to his unanimous decision loss to Klitschko in July of 2011.

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