Peterborough cruiserweight Karl Wheeler has called Biola Kudus “an idiot” and says he plans to teach him some respect in this month’s title fight.
Wheeler and Kudus clash for the vacant International Challenge Belt over eight rounds at the York Hall in Bethnal Green on Saturday, March 19.
Wheeler is one of boxing’s nice guys, but the 33 year-old from Hampton says his fight with Kudus is personal.
Kudus got under Wheeler’s skin when he came face-to-face with the unbeaten Portsmouth puncher at a press conference in London last week.
Wheeler said: “He’s an idiot. He kept saying: ‘I’m going to bash him, I’m going to bash him.’
“I said: ‘Your last opponent was a light-heavyweight and you didn’t bash him,’ but he kept saying: ‘I’m going to bash you.’
“I think he’s trying to wind me up and put some fear into me, but I just found the way he acted disrespectful and pathetic.
“I don’t respect people like that and people at the press conference were shaking their heads. There was no need for it.
“I’m a nice guy who just happens to fight for money. You don’t have to act the hard man all the time.
“He talks like a hard man, but that doesn’t win fights. We will see how good he is at boxing.”
Kudus has won all five professional fights - two inside-the-distance - and Wheeler said: “The title doesn’t matter so much to me now. It’s all about taking away his zero. I want to end his unbeaten record.
“I want to give him a hard time now.
“He will learn respect the hard way.”
Wheeler has already said he will quit boxing if he loses this month - and now he has added incentive to keep winning fights.
He has a wedding to pay for after proposing to girlfriend Lisa Watton on Valentine’s Day.
Wheeler, sponsored by Global Self Drive, Maximum Nutrition, Bore Hole Solutions, Apex, Barkingheads, Layla’s Lengths and Logic Security, said: “The wedding is set for next year and if that’s going to happen, I have to win my next fight and keep winning fights.
“Weddings aren’t cheap!”
Wheeler is convinced he will win a belt in the 18th fight of a professional career that started way back in 2003.
He was beaten on points by Yavor Marinchev in his last fight in February, but said:
“Everyone knows that wasn’t me in their last time.
“That was the worst I’ve ever boxed. If I box the way I have in every other one of my 17 fights, I will win the title.
“I want to show people the best Karl Wheeler.”
Tickets for the show at the York Hall are available from 07398-750739.