Deontay Wilder warns future opponents 'Come into my jungle, I'll eat you'

Deontay Wilder insists he could fight Luis Ortiz or Alexander Povetkin next if the Anthony Joshua bout fails to materialise. Getty Images

Deontay Wilder has warned potential opponents coming into his "jungle" that he'll tear them apart if they're not in the right frame of mind and he suggested he would fight Luis Ortiz or Alexander Povetkin if a bout with Anthony Joshua doesn't materialise.

"If you do have the wrong reasons coming into this jungle, especially my jungle, I am going to eat you," Wilder exclusively told ESPN. "I am going to tear you up alive and leave nothing left but the remains of you and nobody can even recognise who you are."

The American has insisted that any potential unification fight against Anthony Joshua would only take place if a 50-50 split was agreed and with Wilder having knocked out 19 fighters inside the first round he stated that any adversary should think twice before facing him.

While he admitted that Joseph Parker may be Joshua's priority, he still believes there are plenty of fights of interest out there, name checking Luiz Ortiz and Alexander Povetkin -- who along with Andrzej Wawrzyk failed drug tests before arranged contests with Wilder -- as possible challengers in the ring.

"We have a lot of fighters. We have a lot of guys coming back. You got Luis Ortiz and Alexander Povetkin. I would love to get the opportunity back with some of them guys, the fights that people really want to see and due to their lack of responsibility, as far as being wise for the drugs they choose to put in their bodies that the fight didn't happen.

"Hey, they back, why not? I would love to get back in the ring and mix it up with those guys. I can't wait for 2018. The heavyweight division is too exciting. We want go get in the ring and prove ourselves, as men, as warriors, as the best and I am one of the ones saying I am the best and I can't wait to prove to the world I am who I say I am."

Wilder's knockout of Bermane Stiverne in the first round of their November rematch was brutal, with Stiverne's neck resting on the lower ropes, before collapsing forward onto the mat. Despite not having been on the receiving end of the same power, it is still something 'The Bronze Bomber' thinks about.

"Of course I think about it, but I don't necessarily think about it for me because I am not the one taking the punishment," Wilder said. "It is always my opponents who have taken the brutal knockouts. I haven't taken punishment like that. Of course I think about it for them, and I also think about it for me.

"I think about it for me, for the simple fact, I make sure that I don't be the one on the other end of that punch. But I am more so thinking about it for them because I know they have a family and they probably have children they do the same for, just not as eager, or not as strong as I am."

Wilder's four kids provide the inspiration for him when inside the ring. And although he is moved by the plight of fighters that come up against him, he insists those who can't handle his power will be found out.

"I am sure they do it for some type of reasons, especially if they have kids. So I want them to go back to their children. I want them to be able to support their family. But at the end of the day, it is a dangerous business that we signed for.

"It is a jungle and in the jungle we all know only the strong survive in the jungle. If you are not strong, you better start to hide and you better find a great hiding spot because sometimes where you at, you get found and you that's it."