Former heavyweight Deontay Wilder had a statue unveiled in his honor outside the Tuscaloosa City Visitor Center in his home state of Alabama.
Wilder gave a speech captured by his other half Telli Swift and confirmed his return to boxing in 2022.
“I can’t stop right here. But I must continue my journey. I have to, I have to,” said Wilder addressing hundreds of people who turned up to honor his achievements in the sport.
“I’m looking to resume my career for sure. I’ve got a lot of other things I’ve got to get out of the way.
“I’m taking away from my children if I come back. Because now I’m able to enjoy my life fully like I want to.
“I sacrificed so much to be in this position in my life, to be able to live my life like I want for the rest of my life,” he added.
The City of Tuscaloosa shared the moment with Deontay Wilder, having placed the fitting bronze sculpture at the epicenter of tourism.
“The emotional moment when Deontay Wilder revealed the statue of himself created by Caleb O’Connor,” said the City statement.
“The statue will be permanently located outside of Visit Tuscaloosa, representing Deontay Wilder in Tuscaloosa for perpetuity.
“Make sure to come by and see it for yourself!”
The emotional moment when Deontay Wilder revealed the statue of himself created by Caleb O'Connor.
The statue will be permanently located outside of @VisitTuscaloosa, representing the @BronzeBomber in Tuscaloosa for perpetuity. ???????? Make sure to come by and see it for yourself! pic.twitter.com/YkfMD0C7pi
— City of Tuscaloosa (@tuscaloosacity) May 25, 2022
Walt Maddox, the Mayor of Tuscaloosa, paid tribute to Wilder for his contribution – not only to boxing – but to the City.
“Today, we unveiled the statue of Tuscaloosa native Deontay Wilder. It will stand permanently at Visit Tuscaloosa.
“This statue is a permanent reminder of determination, conviction, and inspiration.
“For decades to come, people will stop at this statue and see a beacon of hope,” stated Maddox.
DEONTAY WILDER RETURN
After contacting co-manager Shelly Finkel, WBN confirmed Wilder would return immediately after his second loss to Tyson Fury.
There was never any question of if Wilder would make a comeback. It was merely a question of when.
Regarding potential opponents for what will be a late summer or fall event, Wilder could choose an also-ran PBC stablemate.
Someone in the ilk of Robert Helenius or Charles Martin would be ideal fodder for the 36-year-old before a possible Pay Per View with Andy Ruiz Jr. in late 2022 or early 2023.
Wilder remains number one-ranked by the WBC following his five-year reign with the organization before facing Fury.
This scenario means if Fury vacates anytime soon, Deontay Wilder gets the first crack at his old belt.
WBN Editor Phil has over ten years of boxing news experience. Follow WBN on Twitter @WorldBoxingNews.