Deontay Wilder reveals little-known 17st heavyweight was hardest sparring partner over Wladimir Klitschko or David Haye

DEONTAY WILDER revealed a little-known 17 stone heavyweight was the hardest sparring partner he ever had.

Wilder has shared rounds in the gym with the likes of Wladimir Klitschko and David Haye during the early stages of his career.

GettyDeontay Wilder at the Skyy Boxing gym in 2020[/caption]

But according to the man himself, neither ex-world champion had a patch on American veteran Alonzo Butler.

Wilder told ESNews: “I had a really good, solid war with Alonzo Butler, ‘Big Zo’.

“Big Zo was the fastest heavyweight I’ve ever seen, with his size, he was a solid 250 lbs, but he could move.

“If he had better management and handling he could’ve been heavyweight champion of the world.

“When I was coming up and I saw him, I was very impressed. I looked at him like, ‘Damn, I wanna get like that’.

“Alonzo was the man, he was the first guy that I ever felt a body shot from and I learned a lot from him during that time.”

Butler, now 43, has 34 wins, three losses and two draws with 25 knockouts to his name.

He fought as recently as 2021 but faced largely journeyman opposition throughout his career.

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Wilder, 37, is regarded as one of the hardest hitters in boxing history, which led him to the WBC crown.

But he made a name for himself with valuable sparring after winning bronze in the 2008 Olympics.

And Haye, 42, can attest to just how hard the Bronze Bomber really punched.

He told BT Sport in the past: “I truly think he is the hardest punching heavyweight ever, I know that maybe sounds like an exaggeration.

“I got hit by Wilder in sparring. I’ve been hit by Wladimir Klitschko, on the chin with 10 ounce gloves on.

“There was more effect from Wilder hitting me on the top of the head, with 18 ounce gloves on and I was wearing a head guard – and it wasn’t even clean.

“After that, I remember thinking, ‘This guy is going to do something.’ He was wild and he was all over the place. . . but the power.”

GettyAlonzo Butler is a former sparring partner of Deontay Wilder’s[/caption]

David Haye pictured with Deontay Wilder

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