EDDIE HEARN has claimed Deontay Wilder is overrated and “NEVER beat an elite heavyweight.”
The two superstar rivals are negotiating a January superfight in Saudi Arabia, with Hearn spearheading the talks.
But the promoter has already started the battle words by challenging Wilder’s record.
He said boxing social: “I can’t believe how highly people rate Deontay Wilder. He’s never beaten a top five heavyweight.”
“Luis Ortiz is his best win – he was knocked down in the first fight, in the second fight he was 7-0 down. He’s never beaten an elite heavyweight.”
Wilder, 37, successfully defended the WBC title ten times, losing only to 35-year-old Tyson Fury in the rematch and trilogy bout.
The American returned last October, KOing 39-year-old Robert Helenius in just 40 seconds.
And it was Helenius who replaced Dillian Whyte (35) after the test failed against Joshua (33).
It took AJ seven rounds to knock out Helenius, and Hearn is hoping that sets up the blockbuster fight with Wilder.
He said: “I think he can easily beat Deontay Wilder, but he could also be beaten by Deontay Wilder.”
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“I don’t necessarily think so, I mean the good thing is that he – what was that – tackled seven rounds against a big opponent who can hit a little bit with the backhand?”
“I think it’s certainly difficult to replicate the power of Deontay Wilder. But I always felt that AJ could outperform Deontay Wilder.”
Hearn is expected to be in talks with Saudi Skills Challenge Entertainment and Wilder’s manager Shelly Finkel.