By: Phil D. Jay
Heavyweight contender Deontay Wilder is mulling over several options for his next fight following his latest victory over Nicolai Firtha on the Hopkins v Murat undercard at the Boardwalk Hall.
At 28 years of age, Wilder has put together a faultless 30-0 record with 30 straight stoppages inside four rounds and according to manager and trainer Jay Deas, is ready to step up his opposition en route to a world title fight in 2014.
Deas told WBN that Wilder's first choice would be a clash for the vacant WBC belt against mandatory challenger Bermane Stiverne, although with current champion Vitali Klitschko ready to announce his next opponent imminently that seems unlikely.
The WBC have stated at their annual convention in Bangkok this week that Vitali will indeed make another defense of his coveted title, despite some rumors that the Ukrainian politician will confirm his retirement this year.
The "Bronze Bomber" is now set to look further down the pecking order to get closer to his championship shot as Deas mulls over opponents closer to home for Wilder, with some familiar naes in the frame.
"So far I've heard that the top three are Bermane Stiverne, Tony Thompson and Malik Scott," Deas told World Boxing News.
"I agree with Stiverne's recent comments that any fight between him and Deontay would need to be for the vacant title, so obviously if that can happen that would be pick number one.
"As for Scott and Thompson, I think the world of both of them as their accomplishments speak for themselves and I do like both fights. They are huge American heavyweight fights and both guys would need to be compensated well to agree to any fight with Deontay. In my view, I would take whichever is available first. In fact, I'd bee keen to have Deontay fight one and then the other in a four-month span as I feel it will help him become a better fighter and prepare for his title shot in the future."
Wilder is currently ranked number two by the WBC behind Canadian Stiverne as the division awaits news from the elder Klitschko about his plans for a comeback. "Dr. Ironfist" last defended his title against Manuel Charr in September 2012 and some have called for the long-time title holder to be stripped. Klitschko has been somewhat controversially given special dispensation by the WBC to keep his strap in the midst of injury and his political commitments as the 42 year-old prepares to run for President of the Ukraine in 2015.
On the other hand, fans have been calling for Wilder to step up his opposition for the past 12 months to give a better inclination of his abilities to dethrone Klitschko, with Thompson or Scott seemingly a step in the right direction for the Tuscaloosa puncher with a big twelve months ahead.