WBC Heavyweight boxing champion Deontay Wilder says he gave Dillian Whyte three chances to earn a shot at his belt.
Whyte has yet to face the ‘Bronze Bomber’ despite being ranked as the no.1 contender for almost two years.
The British boxer can finally guarantee a showdown with Wilder if he can beat Oscar Rivas later this month, but the champion claims the fight could have happened long ago.
"I told Dillian Whyte, I gave him two options. I told him to sign with the PBC when he came from over here network shopping or whatever he was over here doing," Wilder is quoted by Boxing News.
"So I told him, 'yeah just sign with us, a one-fight deal. Then no problem we’ll get that fight on'.
"We can get it on, I’ll give you that shot’. But that was one time – strike.
Mbenge fired up for Formella
"Then I told him to fight Luis Ortiz. ‘You fight him and you got my word, you got me’ – I said. And everybody knows when I speak, that’s my word, that’s my bond and I don’t go back on it.
"That’s why when I say things, I own up to all responsibility because I mean what I say. I mean it and I told you, 'you got it if you beat Ortiz'.
"What did he do? He didn't want to fight him – strike two.
“Then the WBC came and ordered him to fight Ortiz, they ordered him to, and he didn’t want the fight – that's strike three."
Wilder, meanwhile, also explained why he thinks Anthony Joshua suffered a shock loss to Andy Ruiz Jr last month.
"AJ had a lot of pressure on him coming to America for one, and then he was worrying about me and what I did in my performance,” said Wilder.
"All that stuff weighs in on you. He was panicking in the dressing room and I understand all that stuff, it’ll get you.
"Certain things, you want to perform and do great. Nobody never wants to lose. We want to do great, but when we got so much on you and so much pressure, talking about the sparring guys dropping him in sparring and stuff, it’s a lot.
"When your time comes I understand he just froze at the moment of time, but we’ll see whether he can redeem himself in the second fight."