Former heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder says he’s willing to put his life on the line for three more years inside the ring.
Wilder, who reigned for five years as a WBC titleholder, returns on October 15, aiming for a first win since 2019.
Wilder had contemplated retirement after following back-to-back losses against Tyson Fury at the MGM Grand Garden Arena and T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
However, unveiling a statue in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, changed everything for “The Bronze Bomber” and his future.
Deontay Wilder mindset
Speaking to The Pivot Podcast, Wilder explained how his mindset altered.
“Certain things, you just don’t have words for,” said Wilder. “My vocabulary is not big enough to express the true feeling of how I felt.
“I was in a very emotional state to be presented with that statue. It was amazing to see people from all over the world want to come and commune and celebrate that moment in time.
“Especially being in the heart of Dixie because they put a black warrior right by the Black Warrior River.
“That was an area where blacks were prohibited by whites unless driven to clean their houses. Right up the street, they sold slaves.
“It’s crazy to think about all that. I would never have thought I’d receive a statue in a million years. But it was an unbelievable feeling, especially for the place it happened in.”
When will Deontay Wilder retire?
Confirming that he will retire from the sport in 2025, a decade after his WBC title victory, Wilder starts the beginning of the end against Robert Helenius.
A former sparring partner, Helenius helped him prepare for the trilogy fight with “The Gypsy King.” Wilder and Helenius now collide in a WBC heavyweight title eliminator for the chance to challenge Fury.
The victor will battle Andy Ruiz Jr. in a final eliminator in the first quarter of 2023. The semi-final tournament concludes with whoever comes out on top facing Fury or challenging for the strap [if Fury retires] later next year.
Wilder stated when his journey sees him walk away: “I give it all 110% percent. I tell people that I only have three years left that I want to dedicate to this business.
“I want to get back to the big fights and to give the fans what they want to see. That’s me risking my life for others’ entertainment.
“I’m doing it for the people this time. It’s not about just my family anymore.
“It’s about everyone who I’ve motivated, inspired, and encouraged all over the world.”
Best puncher on the planet
Boasting 41 knockouts from 42 wins, the Premier Boxing Champions fighter has repeatedly proved how exciting he can be between the ropes.
Wins over Luis Ortiz, Chris Arreola, Bermane Stiverne, Gerald Washington, and Johann Duhaupas kept Wilder in the upper echelons of the heavyweight division.
The three fights with Fury sent him stratospheric, though, after prolonged talks with Anthony Joshua fell apart in 2018.
His next bout takes place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, and will see Wilder showcased around the globe on Pay Per View.
One of the best heavyweights of his time, the Malik Scott-trained puncher bids to add to his KOs with another stunning right-hand against the big Finn.