Since turning pro in 2008, Deontay Wilder has established a reputation as one of the hardest hitters in boxing, knocking out every man he has ever faced in the ring.
Of Wilder’s 39 different opponents, only Bermane Stiverne survived to see the final bell, going 12 rounds with the American for the WBC heavyweight title in 2015.
But Wilder would right that wrong in emphatic style when he pulverized the veteran Canadian inside the first round during a 2017 rematch at the Barclays Center in New York, knocking Stiverne down three times before the fight was mercifully waved off.
On December 1, Tyson Fury will step between the ropes hoping to avoid becoming the 40th victim on Wilder’s rampage through the land of the giants, putting his status as lineal heavyweight champion on the line as he aims to secure the only belt that has eluded him in his professional career.
But the self-styled Gypsy King has been warned that behind Wilder’s concussive blows lies a formidable boxing brain often overshadowed by his reputation as a puncher.
During an exclusive chat with BTSport.com, 2008 Olympic bronze medallist Wilder said: “I bring not only speed and athleticism. My athleticism alone separates me from a lot of them. But ultimately, it is my mindset.
“My mindset blows everyone out. The way I speak. How I deliver it. It all plays a part in it. My mindset is something else, it is very powerful.”
But mental warfare is an area of expertise for 30-year-old Fury, who famously suggested his stunning victory over Wladimir Klitschko in November 2015 had been secured before he had even set foot in the ring after baffling and bemusing the Ukrainian during the months preceding the fight.
And the 6ft 9ins Manchester man believes he has rattled Wilder in similar fashion, revealing: “I am the master of the mind. He is very inexperienced. He doesn’t know what he is doing.
“He is following my lead. As a champion himself, he should be following his own lead, he shouldn’t be following anybody else.
“He’s following every move I make. If I wanted him to tap dance, I could probably make him do that.”
However, Wilder believes Fury is underestimating his psychological strength, particularly once he steps inside the squared circle, telling BTSport.com: “My IQ in the ring is being a general, commander-in-chief. I’m very smart in the ring.
“The things that I see, the way I could pick a guy apart. I never get credit.
“My head movement, the way I’m able to slip punches just in the seconds of a punch coming where my body is so flexible and I can get out of the way. A lot of different things I don’t get credit for, which is okay.”
Wilder v Fury takes place on Saturday December 1 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, USA.
Details of how to subscribe to this huge BT Sport Box Office event will be announced shortly.
For more information visit bt.com/sportboxoffice.