Exclusive: Deontay Wilder 'perfectly in line to challenge for the title'

The "Bronze Bomber" has confirmed his intentions to return to the ring and is expected to fight before the end of the year.

Deontay Wilder has not fought since his most recent defeat to Tyson Fury in October 2021 but revealed at his statue unveiling in Tuscaloosa that he had unfinished business in the sport.

While he is yet to announce his next opponent, Wilder's ambition is to become world champion for a second time.

The heavy-hitting American made 10 defences of his WBC title before losing to Fury in 2020.

Despite two defeats in three fights against the "Gypsy King", Wilder knocked Fury down four times and remains a huge threat in the heavyweight division.

There are plenty of fights still to be made for Wilder too, including Anthony Joshua, Oleksandr Usyk, Andy Ruiz Jr, Joseph Parker and Joe Joyce.

Regardless of Fury's decision to retire or not, WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman insists Wilder is still 'in line' to challenge again for the green-and-gold belt.

"Well, Wilder is a tremendous fighter. He was champion for five years and knocked Fury down four times I believe in the three fights. He had him hurt in the last fight and was very close to winning that fight," Sulaiman exclusively told Planet Sport.

"So whenever Wilder is in the ring, it is a major attraction and he can beat anyone in the highest level of boxing.

"He's the number one challenger Of course, that is the route that you have to take. So he's perfectly in line to challenge for the title."

WBC president backs Fury to return

Mauricio Sulaiman was asked about Fury's future in boxing after the Brit revealed he would keep the WBC title despite retiring.

Fury last fought in April, where he emphatically beat Dillian Whyte inside six rounds to retain his WBC crown in front of 94,000 fans at Wembley - a post-war attendance record in the UK.

Sulaiman told Planet Sport that he is set for crunch talks with Fury later this week but believes he will remain a professional fighter.

"Well, he did his mandatory title defence. A champion has six months to defend the title, one year to defend the mandatory defence," said Sulaiman.

"What I have seen is mostly media and hype of speculations of what he will do or will not do.

"He has expressed continuously that he's retired, but when we spoke, we agreed that he will take his time and I'm going to talk to him and his promoters in the near future - just to get started to see if he confirms he's retired.

READ MORE: Canelo Alvarez remains pound-for-pound best, says WBC president

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