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Deontay Wilder has bizarrely been called "the closest thing" to Muhammad Ali in modern boxing by his new trainer, Malik Scott.
Former heavyweight contender Scott, who actually suffered a stoppage defeat to Wilder in 2014, has taken over training duties for 'The Bronze Bomber' ahead of his third fight with Tyson Fury on 24 July.
Scott clearly believes in his boxer, possibly to a quite outlandish level judging by his recent comments comparing Wilder to the greatest heavyweight who ever lived.
"He very was magical in the ring, but it was the things he beat outside the ring that truly got my attention.
"Deontay Wilder is the closest thing to that in this time."
Even if Scott is referring to Ali's actions outside the ring, rather than his skills in it, when it comes to a comparison to Wilder, it still seems incredibly far-fetched.
Ali, born Cassius Clay in 1942, became not only a three-time heavyweight champion but also a huge figure in the American civil rights movement. He was stripped of his world title and banned from boxing for three years at the peak of his powers for his stance against the Vietnam War.
Wilder, as is the case with many boxers, has overcome several obstacles to become a heavyweight headliner, despite starting in the sport at age 20.
But it seems wildly fanciful to compare the 35-year-old with Ali, who is widely regarded as the defining athlete of the 20th century.
Wilder may not boast any of Ali's widely acclaimed in-ring skills, but he is one of the hardest one-punch hitters boxing has seen. That power took him to a 42-0-1 record (with 41 knockouts), before he suffered a first career defeat when stopped by Fury last year.
The Alabama slugger blamed that defeat on a myriad of excuses and was incensed with trainer Mark Breland for throwing in the towel despite Wilder shipping serious punishment. Hence a new training team and approach heading into the trilogy fight with Fury, which Wilder earned by heading to court to prove that a rematch clause between the pair was still valid.
In the same video with 78SPORTSTV, Wilder himself sent a chilling warning to Fury that he wanted to "decapitate" the British heavyweight.
"My mentality is: you've been contemplating about hurting a person so bad, to the point you wanna disfigure him so his mother wouldn't even know who he was," said Wilder.
"You wanna decapitate him in every way, like premeditated stuff."
Not exactly the pre-fight poetry we associated with Ali throughout his glorious boxing career. But we suppose upsetting Fury to regain his heavyweight crown would at least shut up Wilder's critics and doubters for a while.
All imagery: PA Images
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