In a recent interview Malik Scott, trainer for former Heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder, spoke candidly about his fighter and their frustration with the business of boxing. Wilder has not had a fight since he knocked out Robert Helenius in the first round, in their October 2022 bout. That single round is the only professional round Wilder has fought in, in the last two years since his historic trilogy with Tyson Fury. Scott would love for Wilder to fight on a more consistent basis, but he explains that it isn’t quite that simple.
“If a fighter lives a nightlife, right, but he’s in the gym, even though he’s dead wrong for living a crazy nightlife but he’s mixing it with training, I’m more slightly comfortable with that than the game people have,” Scott said. “And I wouldn’t say ‘have done’ to Deontay, just the (inactive) position they put him in.”
“He’s the hardest puncher in the history of the sport, the most dynamic fighter in the history of the sport, but he needs to be active. It’s a very frustrating time for me because I care about him — he’s just not my fighter, he’s my brother, I want the best for him. And by me wanting the best for him, that includes him being active.” – Scott
“He hasn’t been active. He has been training. He’s waiting for these mega fights to jump off, he’s negotiating himself. He’s in control of everything that’s happening, but the so-called higher powers that be can still sometimes hold things up from a financial, business standpoint.” – Scott
“And that’s the most frustrating thing about boxing, to me. It’s the business standpoint. And he’s not the only fighter, heavyweight at the highest level, that’s inactive. To me, none of them are really fighting enough. None of them. It’s like a holiday when these guys fight now and that’s crazy. It’s crazy but it’s business.” – Scott
“Muhammad Ali was people’s hero because they saw him active a lot. George Foreman was people’s hero because they saw him active a lot. I want my brother, who has all hero quality, Deontay Wilder, who’s the most dynamic, who’s has a huge personality, a huge presence, I want him more active, and I want his inactivity to disappear.”- Scott
Early this week, we confirmed reports that Scott questioned Anthony Joshua’s intentions regarding staging a potential fight against Wilder. The two fighters had long been linked with a fight since 2018. Talks most recently intensified in 2023, though those talks fell apart due to Skills Challenge Entertainment pulling out and not having the previously understood financials in order.
Since that reality, Scott has questioned whether Joshua is content to “never” face Wilder. He believes the Brit will be fine with going the rest of his career without facing the American. Talks between Joshua and Wilder have been as quiet as they ever have been and clarity on the situation is not understood at this point in time.