Heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder of the US (Timothy A. CLARY / AFP)
The World Boxing Council has vowed to investigate heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder after he was quoted as saying he wanted to cause a death in a boxing ring.
In an interview with syndicated New York radio show, The Breakfast Club, Wilder triggered revulsion throughout boxing by saying he hoped to "have a body" on his record.
"I want a body on my record. I want one. I really do," Wilder said, referring to himself in his 'Bronze Bomber' ring persona.
"That's the 'Bronze Bomber'. He wants one. I always tell people that when I'm in the ring then I'm the 'Bronze Bomber' and with him, it's so crazy, I don't really care.
"Everything about me changes. I don't get nervous. I don't get scared. I don't get butterflies. I don't have any feeling towards the other man in the fight."
Wilder, the reigning WBC heavyweight champion, boasted that he believed he had almost achieved his goal during a ninth-round knockout of Artur Szpilka in 2016.
"The power that I have, it's easy to be able to do," Wilder said. "I thought I had one one time with Szpilka because he wasn't breathing when he hit the canvas. Somebody is going to go."
The heavyweight's remarks were greeted with disgust by fight fans on Twitter as well as British cruiserweight Tony Bellew.
If this is true? He’s a disgrace! A lot of fighters have a family there providing for so does this mean he wants to kill the father of a child? Senseless idiot! I didn’t have him down as this tbh.. When I met him last found him to be quite bright! Sad if it’s true. https://t.co/UISMyzEFhH— Tony Bellew (@TonyBellew) March 31, 2018
"If this is true, he's a disgrace!" Bellew wrote on Twitter. "A lot of fighters have a family they're providing for so does this mean he wants to kill the father of a child? Senseless idiot!"
Wilder's comments come barely a month after British boxing was left in mourning after the death of fighter Scott Westgarth.
WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman voiced dismay over Wilder's comments, and said the case would be referred to the organization's disciplinary committee.
"This is a serious report which cannot go unattended and if true goes against the WBC Boxing code of ethics," Sulaiman said on Twitter late on Friday.
"It's not acceptable and the WBC disciplinary committee will look into this delicate matter."
It’s not acceptable and the WBC disciplinary committee will look into this delicate matter https://t.co/Zr6DJh46jx— Mauricio Sulaiman (@wbcmoro) March 31, 2018
Wilder, 40-0, could be in line for an eventual unification bout against International Boxing Federation and World Boxing Association heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, who fights New Zealand's Joseph Parker in Cardiff later Saturday. (Agence France-Presse)