Deontay Wilder and Artur Szpilka held a media call to discuss their upcoming fight. Find the full transcript from the call here.
Absolutely. Well, first of all, it’s great to be on with everybody. Looking forward to January 16 in Brooklyn, New York. Artur Szpilka, he’s a one of a kind. You don’t get many fighters like him.
Great guy. Always working hard. Always wants to learn. That’s the most important thing, and I think when you think you know everything, then that means you don’t know anything. So, you always have to keep learning, and that’s a part of the sport that I love about it. That you can never stop teaching, and so guys can always learn.
We’re looking forward to fighting Deontay. Deontay is a great champion, and a great guy at that. We’re looking forward to this, and Artur Szpilka has been really working hard.
He’s been – we were supposed to fight, actually, a week ago when the fight got cancelled on us about three weeks ago, but we stayed in the gym. We continued training and, you know, and it’s a blessing that now he’s able to fight for the heavyweight championship of the world. So we’re looking forward to it, and we’ll see everyone on January 16.
This is a gentleman who Polish is his first language, but he’s hanging out in Houston. He’s learned his English pretty well, and I think he’s going to try to handle most of your questions in English.
And in case there’s anything that we need help on, we have a translator. But Artur’s usually not at a lack for words in both English and in Polish, and I think he’s going to handle himself just fine on this call.
He had a lot to say on SHOBox the other night when he was interviewed, and I know he’s looking to make history on January 16. There’s never been a Polish heavyweight champion of the world, and Deontay’s going to try to prevent that from occurring, and Artur’s going to try to make history. Artur Szpilka.
Hey. I would like to welcome everybody. I will try to say something, but if I don’t know something my translator is here
I’m excited that I can reign as champion. I hope you hear me loud and clear. I can really fight. I’m ready. My head is ready. I train hard charmp and good luck, because I’m going to kick your ass. You start as world champion in January, and you’re done January 16.
Well, those are some big words to start. Deontay Wilder has some connections to Brooklyn through his trainer, Mark Breland an amateur legend, former world champion, great guy, 100% Brooklyn. And I’m sure, Mark you have something to say about what Artur just said.
Well, Deontay’s in good shape. He’s ready to fight. We’ve been training for a while now so we’re just ready to fight. Just the basic thing is training camp. Training at the camp and fighting.
He just wants to fight, just like us. I know how he feels that, being a fighter. You want to fight, and then the fight gets cancelled, and you come back and get another fight. But we just keep busy. He’s in great shape.
For the champion, this will be his fourth fight in one year. His third title defense on January 16. He’s seen his star power grow from being a super star in Alabama – and his popularity has grown exponentially since, with Tyson Fury’s victory over Wladimir Klitschko.
Deontay’s getting a lot of attention in Europe and Great Britain and being a charismatic young world champion, this is a pretty good time to be a heavyweight right now with all the noise being made in the division. I think this defense in Brooklyn, New York is a historic defense, the first one in 115 years by a heavyweight champion and is a great opportunity to continue to have that star rise.
Deontay, Mr. Szpilka said he’s going to kick your ass, and your reign is going to end the same month it began. What do you have to say about that?
Hello, Everybody. Happy Holidays as well, it’s coming up quick. If you don’t have your shopping done, you better get ready.
I’m looking forward to the fight. I’m excited about fighting at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. I’m excited about fighting in New York, period. This is my debut up there, and I’m looking forward to it. I’m looking to make history myself as well.
You’re going to come to make history to be the first Polish heavyweight champion, and that’s what I like, man. I like these foreign guys that come to make history. I’m big on making history, and I know the guys that want to put their name down after: first ever. That’s a big deal. Those guys come to fight. They come to put up a great fight, just so they can make history.
But I, for one thing, I like making history as well too. So there are two guys who are trying to make history, and may the best man win. He can say he’s going to kick my ass, so I guess I better not let him kick it. They’ll have to fight, it’s not going to happen. Not on the 16th. Not with this champion.
I appreciate him for accepting the offer. It’s a great feeling to be able to fight for a world title, so I know what he may be feeling right now, but it’s not over, don’t get too overwhelmed by the opportunity. You still got to go through with the opportunity, and we’re looking forward to it. I’m never, ever out of shape.
I love the ring. I’m in love with this sport, and I can’t wait. It’s going to be a hell of a show. It’s going to be a hell of an undercard and I’m looking for a huge crowd to come out.
I’m looking forward to seeing the Polish community as well too. I want all the Polish fans to come onboard with the Bronze Bomber while we bring the heavyweight Division back on top like it once was.
Thank you, Deontay. We’re going to open it up to questions. You know, one more time, one thing we want to emphasize is Deontay – it’s really important to him that his fights be accessible to everybody. And ticket prices for this great even start at only $25.00.
I think that’s a great opportunity for all our fans in Brooklyn, and New York City, and the whole tristate area, and all around the world to come in and get to see a world heavyweight championship fight at a really affordable pricing.
Ringside tickets are 300 with the VIP ringsides in the first couple of rows at 500, but the majority of tickets are very, very reasonably priced, and all the way down beginning at 25 bucks, so we want to encourage as many fans as possible to be there, and you get that 10% discount – fans who buy before New Year’s Day. So we’re really trying to encourage, you know, people to buy early.
Deontay, can you just talk about how your life has changed since you won the heavyweight title?
My life definitely has changed dramatically. I’m able to support my family beyond my belief, like I promised my daughter when I said I was going to get a belt and be able to support her beyond her belief.
That definitely has followed through. I’m able to go anywhere I want as I please. I love the attention. The attention, especially at home, has been crazy. It’s like I can’t go nowhere, like I’m a superhero. Superhero back home for sure, but even elsewhere, all the different countries and different states. I was just in Hawaii, and people they love me over there as well too.
So the love has been definitely real in it. I’m the perfect guy for all that it takes to be a heavyweight champion of the world. That whole total package. It’s not just being great inside the ring. It’s also that thing that you have to do outside of the ring that a lot of fighters don’t have.
I’m the total package. I’m definitely a people’s person. I love to interact with the people and talk to them. No matter how many people are around, I like to take my time out for them, no matter what I have going on.
I think that’s very important for and for just general people in the public. That’s how you get even more fans. I’m not the type of guy that put on a front. I don’t have two face. Either you like me or you don’t. How you see me, that’s what I am. I don’t change overnight. I don’t change in front of cameras. I don’t say things that I can’t say in front of a person’s face. I’m just not that type of person.
What you see is what you get from me. I love being the heavyweight champion of the world. There’s no greater feeling than being the champ, the heavyweight champion of the world, but this is just part of my journey. My ultimate goal in boxing is to be the undisputed. The last undisputed champion was Lennox Lewis. That was 1999, and I’m looking forward to putting my name in the history books.
Artur, what makes you think you’ll going to be able to kick Deontay Wilder’s ass?
I have everything a good boxer has: a strong punch, good legs and I’m confident. I know this is my time. I am the future heavyweight champ.
He is strong. I have respect for him. But he never fought with somebody like me. The one fighter which he fought who is good was Bermane Stiverne. And that’s it. Everybody else was a bum. And he will see, 16 January, baby, I am ready. I am ready.
Artur, what are the strengths and weaknesses of Mr. Wilder?
I think Wilder has a good strong right hand. He is tough guy, but I don’t want to say what is not good. He will see on January 16. I can say he is a great fighter. He has a good punch, but we will see if this is really good fighter; we will see if this is really good punch. We will see January 16.
I only see him when somebody doesn’t want to fight with him or somebody is scared. Stiverne, Duhapaus and Molina were not scared of him. But everybody else was scared of him.
When somebody is scared, you can’t do that everything that you want. I know I’m never scared, and he will see. This is no joke, and I can wait for January 16. Every day when I wake up in the morning, I am so excited. I can’t wait for this day.
know my fans, my family, my team will be very happy, because I’m doing everything that I can. I give 100%, maybe 200% every day. He is great fighter. But he never, ever, faced somebody like me. This is no joke.
Artur, you got only six weeks until this fight. How is preparation for this fight going?
I thought I had another fight before that fell through but I was training very hard. I only took one week of rest. Something told me, Artur, don’t be resting because something big will be happening. You must train.
One week of rest and I came back for workouts. I trained so hard, and two weeks after, somebody called me and said hey, maybe you’ll be fighting with Deontay.
This was my everything. This was my dream. I’m happy. And now? I know this was my destination all along.
Deontay have you looked at any tapes of Szpilka, and if so, what have you seen?
I don’t ever look at films. I never have because I’ve learned that film that I’m looking at, that fighter doesn’t fight the same way with me with that opponent.
Everybody’s different and everybody has different style. That’s why I have a great team behind me, and I leave that up to them guys. They are able to break down fighters, to see, and I just listen to my corner and go along with the game plan.
That’s how I go about it., I don’t look at film because I think it’s more challenging to me to not really know too much about the guy. I want to get in the ring and feel him out and go from there.
It’s more of a challenge to my brain and for me to use everything that I’m capable of doing. So, for that reason, I don’t look at film at all. I’m always ready for whoever. I don’t care who it is. It doesn’t matter.
It doesn’t matter who is in that ring with me come that night. A lot of these fighters they say the same old stuff it’s like a headache to me. A lot of guys do talk the talk and the best thing that Mike Tyson could’ve ever said that came out of his mouth, “Every fighter got a game plan until they get hit.”
I love a fighter that comes forward. That’s even better for me because I want to knock them off a little, because I don’t play along.. I’m in love with this sport. That’s good he’s not scared. I’m glad. That’s better for me. So I don’t want to hear no excuses after this fight. I don’t play along with this. I mean business, and I come with bad intentions to really hate my opponent because the game that we in, unfortunately, there’s a winner, and a loser and I don’t know nothing about losing. All I know is winning, so good luck.
Did the Klitschko loss to Tyson Fury changed your approach at all to this fight?
Oh, no, not at all, the show must go o. I’ve got a WBC belt. They don’t have anything to do with me. When they see a guy that reigned for so long and then it finally changes hands, that’s good for the boxing scene, but my approach is still the same. I’m still leading the beat on this new era of heavyweights no matter who has that belt.
This is why I love this sport. It’s unpredictable. My approach is still the same. I still train the same. I still live the same lifestyle, I still have the same mindset, and I still do that until that time comes.
I’m a patient guy, and I believe in Karma and everything that happened in my life that came at the right time and this is another step in my life in the right direction and I’m just looking forward to it. I’m always looking for when I can get back in that ring when I can get in front of those lights when I can get around those fans and make it do what I do.
Deontay, any specific training or plans for facing a southpaw in this fight?
No, there’s a lot of different plans for different fighters. There’s two things that I like in my opponents and that’s Southpaws and guys who like to pressure me. He fits both descriptions.
I’m really looking forward to the fight and I hope he lives up to his words. A lot of guys, they just talk the talk, but when it’s time they don’t deliver what they say they would. I want to fight a fight at the end of the day, I want to fight that people will say, “This was one of their best fights of the year.” No matter how many fights that they’ve already been to, I want people to say, “I want to see those guys fight again.”
I’m looking for a grand show, I’m looking for a great performance on my behalf, 2016 is a new year for me, and I’m setting the tone, I’m setting the pace with this fight.
I’m going to show through Szpilka, to all the rest of them that get in my way that Deontay Wilder is not playing, that he is on a mission and anybody stepping in my way…. I’m going to let you fill in the blank.
Artur, with Klitschko’s loss and greater attention to all heavyweight fights, how has that effected your preparations?
I have more confidence because I knew this new generation was coming. Tyson Fury and I trained together. He was a heavyweight, I was light heavyweight and we trained together with our national teams.
When I saw him win I thought “Oh my god, yes, this is my time. Everybody now everybody can win titles.” you know? This is great and it’s new blood for boxing.
Deontay, is this is to just to send a message or do you have to put on a show or do you just have to win?
No, no, no, we just win. I feel I have to put on a great show, you know? There’s always the goal to put on a great show? Even though we may win as a win, whether it’s an ugly win or a pretty win, but I definitely want to win in a fantastic fashion.
Is being a PPV star part of the game plan for your career?
I’ve never been concerned with being a pay-per-view star. That’s just never been in my mind. But I wanted to be a part of a new start in boxing. I’m all for the people. I want everyone to see me fight.
I just love boxing. I’m in love with the sport. Again, I say that all the time and I just want to let you know that I mean it. I’m in love with the sport. I want the people to be able to see me and be able to see a great performance. I’m not all about the pay-per-viewer’s.
If it comes in my life that I’m on PPV, then that’s good. If not, then I’m fine with it, I don’t need it.
Are you looking to make Barclays Center your home away from home?
I’d love for that to be a home away from home, most definitely. There’s so much rich history in New York, and they need a face there at Barcalys Center. Why not me?
I know the people would embrace me as one of their own. I’ve got many friends in New York, I’ve got family everywhere there too so why not? That’s the mission that I’m on and that’s what I’m looking forward too and, yes, that sounds good.
Artur, 35 people have tried, and 35 people have failed to beat Deontay, why should we believe you’re going to be the one with the recipe and how do you plan on doing it?
I have a different work ethic. I don’t consider it 35, but only three people actually wanted to try to fight him. The rest of them lost before they even stepped into the ring, they were afraid in the ring.
There is a big difference between me and now and me three years ago when I lost to Bryant Jennings. I don’t want to talk about it at length, but I can tell you that I tried. I trust in my corner, I trust my trainer Ronnie Shields and you guys will all see Deontay go down on January 16th.
What do you think about Tyson Fury and his title winning fight and post fight comments?
I definitely saw the parts of the fight while I was awake. That’s the exciting part about boxing, you just never know what’s going to happen.
So, again, congratulations to him on the upset and I hope that he’s enjoying the belt and stuff like that. The comments that he referred to me, well, everybody is entitled to their own opinion. Words don’t hurt me.
Most people are only like that for the cameras. When they’re in person they’re like best friends to me. These are changeover minds. It doesn’t mean that they are fighters, those are even media guys as well as fans too. It’s like, you just transform. You say these crazy stuff when you feel like you won’t be held or seen and again when you come in on a personal level, you change into this loving, giddy kind of person.
When it all boils down to it like I said before, and I’ll say it again, I am on a mission. I am on a mission, you know? And nobody’s going to stop me, I promise you that — nobody. I don’t care how confident they are, I don’t care who they got in their corner, I don’t care if they devoted their life back to being in the ring. I have hadn’t to change nothing because from Day One I’ve been doing the right thing, so I haven’t got off track so that’s an advantage where I don’t get off track because I’ve been trusting in my people.
I’ve been having the right people behind me. I’ve been doing the right things from Day One. My lifestyle been healthy. I’m never out of shape, and that’s the difference. Like I tell them, this is not a game. The more a person talks, the worse it is for them. I respect all fighters that step in that ring, but it comes a time when somebody got to go.
I think Tyson is still worth the hype. Me and him been in that fight for four years now and I think it’s still going to be the biggest thing that happening if he continues to have this belt, but even more now because I don’t like something that he did. I didn’t like what he said about Lennox Lewis, so I’m going to whoop him for Lennox.
What were your thoughts on the Anthony Joshua vs. Dillon Whyte fight from this weekend?
I like both boxers, personally. Whyte, he turned into a more of a brawl kind of fight, so I think he went back to the way he did in the amateurs and brought that same kind of intuition to the fight. Joshua as he starts really just getting on up and trying to meet guys, he’s going to realize that he’s going to be able to experience a lot more than what he’s experiencing.
This is boxing. You’re going to get hit, no matter how swift you are unless you get them out of their quick. There’s more risk or change you’re going to get hit man, and it’s the point of boxing, you’re going to get hit man. Congratulations to Joshua in their fight and hopefully they continue to be diving in the right direction and until it leads to champion.
Artur, are you friends with Kryzystof Glowacki? Because I know you were the undercard of that fight and you both being the southpaws, do you guys talk? Does he give you any advice or anything?
Yes, of course, this is my friend. I know him very long time, like 15 years we were together since we were very young and on the Polish national team. He told me every time he called me, Artur, train hard. You must do that this, this, this, and that. We are friends, and every time when he fights, I did the same. If you can hear something good from a friend, you must take the advice. .