Deontay Wilder may be the United States' best heavyweight boxing prospect but the 2008 Olympic bronze medalist has yet to face stiff competition. That trend will continue on Saturday in Carson, Calif. when Wilder fights former police officer Jason Gavern on Showtime.
Gavern may have beaten former pound-for-pound champ James Toney in his last fight, but the tough journeyman has lost sixteen times, hasn't fought since 2013 and has made a recent habit of fighting just three-round bouts. Suffice to say, promoters hope to showcase Wilder on Saturday night against Gavern.
That said, Wilder insists that he isn't taking a win for granted. "I know this is a risk fight," he said at this week's press conference.
"Jason [Gavern] comes to fight every time. And you've got to respect that. I've definitely not looking past Jason, but I'm looking through him."
While it may be a stretch to look at Gavern as a big threat to Wilder, the undefeated prospect knows that, should he slip in fights like these, his perfect record will go out the door, and with it, future dollars and possible title shots. Armed with that fear, Wilder is motivated to do what people expect him to do.
"I love boxing and I love what I do," he said.
"Everybody has their opinion on who I should fight...I'm right at the door. All I've got to do is ring the bell or knock to get inside."