HomeSportI've beaten Zheili Zhang and sparred Daniel Dubois, but Deontay Wilder is...

I’ve beaten Zheili Zhang and sparred Daniel Dubois, but Deontay Wilder is most fearsome rival despite punching flaw


Filip Hrgovic says Deontay Wilder is the biggest puncher he’s ever faced.

The 16-0 heavyweight contender has faced down some of the division’s hardest hitters and secured his IBF mandatory shot by stopping Demsey McKean on the undercard of Anthony Joshua vs. Robert Helenius earlier this month.

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Hrgovic has faced some of heavyweight boxing’s hardest hitters, recently beating Demsey McKean in AugustCredit: Mark Robinson/Matchroom

Hrgović plans to face Oleksandr Usyk next, provided the Ukrainian comes through his fight with Daniel Dubois in Wroclaw, Poland on Saturday night.

In an eventful career so far, the 31-year-old has beaten Zheili Zhang – who knocked out Joe Joyce earlier this year – and sparred with Dubois as well as former two-weight world champion David Haye.

But he says no one hits harder than Wilder despite the fact the American KO merchant’s boxing style has a fundamental flaw that makes his punches less lethal.

Speaking to talkSPORT, he explained of their 2013 training session: “Wilder has more power but at the time when I was sparring him, and still, his punches are wide, and you can see them.

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“I think he has improved from that time we sparred. At the time, he was not the champion of the world. I think he’s improved but I think his punches are very wide and you can see them coming.”

Wilder became WBC heavyweight champion in 2015 when he beat Bermane Stiverne and held the belt for five years until Tyson Fury took it from him in 2020.

‘The Bronze Bomber’ is expected to take a tune-up fight in October before squaring off against his long-time rival, Anthony Joshua, early next year.

After sharing rounds with Wilder and watching Joshua up close just a couple of weeks ago, the Croatian is one of the best-placed people on the planet to predict their fight.

Hrgovic sparred Wilder in 2013 and landed some powerful bombs on his rival

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Hrgovic sparred Wilder in 2013 and landed some powerful bombs on his rivalCredit: Sky Sports

Unfortunately, he’s got no clue who is going to win.

“In my opinion, Joshua is a better fighter,” Hrgovic added.

“When you look at everything [he has] better technique, but Wilder has that big right hand and if he finds a way [to land it] it’s finished.

“I don’t know. I would say it’s 50/50.”

The heavyweight title fight between Oleksandr Usyk vs Daniel Dubois is live on talkSPORT on Saturday 26 August





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