Deontay Wilder stands by 'kill' comments ahead of WBC world title fight with Dominic Breazeale
WBC heavyweight world champion puts his title on the line in Brooklyn on Saturday
Heavyweight boxing world champion Deontay Wilder has refused to back down after receiving criticism for controversial comments he made regarding killing an opponent in the ring.
Wilder, who puts his WBC world title on the line against fellow American Dominic Breazeale in Brooklyn, New York on Saturday, said he was "trying to put a body on my record".
Given the opportunity to clarify his comments while speaking to the media, Wilder instead appeared to accuse his opponent of bringing it on himself.
"Dominic Breazeale asked for this. I didn't go seek him. He [sought] me. So if it comes it comes. This is a brutal sport. This is not a gentleman sport," said Wilder, who has 39 knockouts from his 41 fights.
"We don't ask to hit each other in the face but we do anyway. And you can ask any doctor around the world, he will tell you, your head is not meant to be hit.
"On this particular time we have bad blood against each other. This is the only sport where you can kill a man and get paid for it at the same time. It's legal. So why not use my right to do so?"
It is not the first time Wilder has made such comments. Earlier this year, Wilder warned Breazeale to "make funeral arrangements", while in March last year he said: "I want a body on my record. I want one. I really do."
Wilder's last fight was a thrilling draw against Britain's Tyson Fury in April, and the American recently claimed that the former world champion was avoiding the rematch.
"Fury knows his real reason for not fighting me," Wilder said. "That's why he signed the contract with ESPN. He didn't want that fight."
Brezeale, meanwhile, will enter the ring with a record of 20 wins and 18 knockouts, with his solitary defeat coming in a seventh stoppage in 2016 against Anthony Joshua, who holds the other three world title belts.
Updated: May 15, 2019 09:46 PM