Deontay Wilder is a professional American boxer. Deontay is one of the longest-reigning world heavyweight champions having been crowned the ‘World Boxing Council’(WBC) heavyweight champion in 2015. Currently, Wilder is the second-best heavyweight boxer in the world. He started his boxing career as an amateur in the 2008 Summer Olympics where he won the bronze medal. Initially, Wilder wanted to become a professional football player or a basketballer before focusing on the lucrative boxing career.
Deontay Wilder is known for his formidable punching power, having a knockout rate of 98% for his wins with 20 first-round knockouts.
Deontay Wilder Early Life
Deontay Leshun Wilder was born on October 22, 1985, in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He is of African-American descent, not so much about his family or childhood is known.
Deontay Wilder attended Tuscaloosa Central High School and graduated in 2004. While at school, Wilder dreamt of becoming a professional football or basketball player. His early dream was to play for his hometown team, ‘Alabama Crimson Tide’. However, his dream to play football was cut short by his early marriage, which put domestic and financial responsibilities on his shoulders.
After the birth of his first daughter who had spinal defects, Wilder took odd jobs to support his young family and his daughter’s medical bills. At some point, he worked as a driver of a local beverage company and decided to let go of his academic dreams. He chose to pursue boxing as a means to get money to support his family.
Early Boxing Career
In 2005, Deontay Wilder joined the ‘Skyy Boxing Gym’ in Northport, Alabama to start his amateur boxing career. He was under the training and guidance of Jay Deas. In less than two years, Deontay Wilder had become a force to reckon in amateur boxing.
In 2007, Wilder decided to enter the ‘National Golden Gloves’ competition. He had an impressive run in this competition, defeating the world champion Isiah Thomas and David Thompson. In the same year, he registered success against Quantis Graves in the ‘US Amateur Boxing Championship’. He went on to win the championship having defeated James Zimmerman from California. He again defeated Quantis Graves to win the ‘Olympic Games’trials.
The following year, 2008, Wilder registered his career-best score when he defeated the Russian Rakhim Chakhiyev.
2008 Summer Olympics
Having defeated Quantis Graves in the Olympic Games trials, Wilder qualified for the competition. He registered to compete in the heavyweight category in the 2008 Summer Olympics. During the competition, he managed to defeat Algeria’s Abdelaziz Touilbini and Morocco’s Mohamed Arjaoui. However, Wilder lost to Italy’s Clemente Russo in the semi-finals, becoming the Olympics bronze medalist.
His amateur record is 30-5.
Deontay Wilder Professional Boxing Career
In 2008, Deontay Wilder made his debut in professional boxing at the Vanderbilt University Memorial Gymnasium in Tennessee. He had an impressive debut, knocking out his opponent, Ethan Cox, in the second round.
In 2009, had seven professional boxing matches, which he won all in the first round. His boxing success carried on for the proceeding years with an impressive record. By 2012, he had won 25 matches, a majority of which were won within the first four rounds.
First Professional Boxing Title
On December 15, 2012, Wilder stepped on the ring of Memorial Sports Arena in Los Angeles against Kelvin Prince. He defeated his opponent to win his first professional boxing title.
In 2013, Golden Boy Promotions announced that Wilder will fight Audley Harrison. Wilder knocked out the former Olympic gold medalist in the first round. Harrison soon announced his retirement from professional boxing after Wilder defeat.
In 2014, a boxing match between Deontay Wilder and Malik Scott was announced. Wilder defeated Scott in the first round, taking over as the mandatory challenger for the ‘WBC Heavyweight Title’.
WBC Heavyweight Title
On January 17, 2015, Wilder fought against the WBC heavyweight champion, Bermane Stiverne at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. After a thrilling 12 rounds, Deontay Wilder was announced the new WBV heavyweight champion, in a unanimous decision by all judges.
Wilder dedicated his win to his daughter and Muhammad Ali, who he said was his all-time hero.
Defending WBC Heavyweight Title
Soon after becoming the WBC heavyweight champion, Wilder started to defend his title. In May 2015, he fought his first title defense against Eric Molina. Wilder knocked out Molina in the fourth round. He got $1.4 million for his win.
His second title defense was in August against Johann Duhaupas who was ranked 12th in the WBC. Wilder dominated the fight and won it in the 11th round. He was awarded $1.4 million for the win.
In December 2015, Wilder was tasked to defend his title against Artur Szpilka of Poland. The polish boxer had an upper hand in the first three rounds, but Wilder did not give up. In the 9th round, Wilder landed a powerful punch that led to the hospitalization of his opponent.
In May 2016, Wilder was set to fight his mandatory challenger, Alexander Poverkin from Russia. However, a week before the fight, his challenger tested positive for a banned substance, leading to the cancellation of the match.
In July 2016, Wilder defeated Chris Arreola though he had broken his right hand and had torn biceps. Wilder underwent two surgeries after the fight to repair his injuries before returning to the ring.
In February 2017, Wilder fought Gerald Washington in a fight that was aired by ‘Fox’and termed as one of the most widely watched boxing fights. Gerald Washington suffered major head blows from Wilder and the fight was stopped by the referee.
In October 2017, WBC ordered Wilder to fight Bermane Stiverne, the mandatory challenger. Wilder’s opponent was knocked out after a powerful right-hand blow.
In December, the same year, Wilder defeated Luis Ortiz.
In 2018, Wilder fought Tyson Fury in a contested match that ended as a draw.
WBC Title Loss
On 22 January 2020, Wilder faced Tyson Fury. This time, Wilder lost to his opponent, losing his WBC heavyweight title to Tyson Fury via a technical knockout in the 7th round. In December 2020 there will be another fight between Wilder and Fury. People calling it Wilder vs Fury 3 fight.
Deontay Wilder Estimated Networth, Salary, and Sponsorship
The estimated net worth of Wilder is $30 million. His 2019 earnings from his fights stand at $30 million. He is currently having a sponsorship deal with Everlast.
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