DEONTAY WILDER has aimed a sly dig at former rival Tyson Fury, suggesting the Brit doesn't bring any "excitement" to the heavyweight division.
Fury ended Wilder's five-year reign as WBC heavyweight champion in February 2020 before closing the book on their rivalry with a brutal 11th-round KO victory in their trilogy fight last October.
But The Bronze Bomber – who made ten defences of the prestigious green belt – believes the division isn't as exciting without an American at the summit.
He told Blue Blood Sports TV: "One thing about boxing that I’ve proved is that boxing thrives off of the excitement.
"But the excitement of an American champion. Once that dies, so does boxing.
“I was living proof because I’m coming back on popular demand because that’s all I’ve been hearing from high and low. From homeless people all the way up to millionaires.
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“You feel me? It’s just been an amazing feeling. So many people reaching out telling me it’s important because, without an American, heavyweight boxing really isn’t exciting.
"An American heavyweight brings that excitement to the division. Then all the money flows. Trust me on that.”
Retirement appeared to be on the horizon for Wilder following his spectacular defeat to the undefeated Gypsy King,
But he's vowed to return to the ring later this year, saying: "I can't stop right here. I must continue my journey. I have to, I have to.
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"I'm looking to resume my career for sure. I've got a lot of other things I've got to get out of the way.
“I'm taking away from my children if I come back because now, I'm able to enjoy my life fully like I want to.
"I sacrificed so much to be in this position in my life, to be able to live my life like I want for the rest of my life."
Fury teased retirement after his brutal knockout of Dillian Whyte at Wembley in April but has yet to vacate the WBC title.
And the Brit hopes Wilder will fight for his belt once he gives it up, telling Behind The Gloves: "I'd like to see Deontay Wilder fight whoever for it again.
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"I don't know how that's [Wilder being No.1 in the WBC rankings] even possible. He's lost three fights in a row and still No1-rated.
"But that's up to them."
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