Wilder v Breazeale: Virgil Hunter condemns WBC champion’s comments on death in the ring

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Wilder (left) has 40 wins and a draw in his 41 official fights
Deontay Wilder v Dominic Breazeale
Venue: Barclays Center, Brooklyn Date: Saturday, 18 May (Sunday, 19 May at about 04:00 BST)
Coverage: Live-text commentary on BBC Sport website

Deontay Wilder risks his legacy with “irresponsible” comments about death in the ring, says trainer Virgil Hunter.

World heavyweight champion Wilder, 33, has been criticised for discussing killing an opponent after he said he is “trying to get a body on my record”.

Hunter, who trains Wilder’s opponent on Saturday – Dominic Breazeale – said he was “disappointed” in the champion.

“He needs to really ask himself if that’s what I’m all about,” he said. “Is this the legacy I want to leave?”

“I think this is something that Deontay has to deal with internally,” Hunter told BBC Sport in New York.

“Is this the example I want to show and come to grips with it? I think in the long run an apology is in line.”

Wilder maintains ‘no regrets’

WBC world heavyweight title holder Wilder has made similar comments in the past and has repeated his statement in media huddles and on US talk shows this week.

The American defended his comments on Tuesday and when asked about the issue by BBC Sport on Wednesday, he said: “I don’t regret nothing that I say. I am passionate about what I say and passionate about what I do.

“I’ve always been real. I don’t worry about being politically correct.”

Hunter – who also trains Britain’s Amir Khan – added: “It’s the wrong way of going about promoting. I am really disappointed in Deontay.

“He has the world so to speak in his hands and he is letting it slip out and making statements like that, that makes people cringe. It’s irresponsible.”

The likes of former world cruiserweight champion Tony Bellew and promoter Eddie Hearn have criticised Wilder’s words in the past.

The American shares a rivalry with Breazeale, which intensified when the pair became embroiled in a hotel scuffle in 2017. Breazeale said Wilder’s brother punched him in front of his wife and children.