Deontay Wilder has been blasted as a ‘hypocrite’ by some after breaking down in tears over the thought of hurting another boxer.
“The Bronze Bomber” was visibly upset when discussing the prospect of causing long-term damage to Robert Helenius after knocking him out with one punch in 177 seconds at Barclays Center.
However, fans and media have long memories, something Wilder knows only too well.
Deontay Wilder upset
Wilder said at the post-fight press conference for the October 15 bout: “My heart out goes out to him [Robert Helenius after the knockout].
“I hope he’s doing OK and he’ll be able to return to his family.
“Yeah, it’s a great knockout. It’s devastating. But how much is that man going to suffer?
“He’s alright now, but what about tomorrow? – What about two weeks from now?
Wilder’s comments came after he went to visit Helenius to apologize. The Tuscaloosa then spoke about Prichard Colon.
The young fighter was touted as a future world champion when permanently injured in 2015.
Discussing Colon’s plight, Wilder sobbed to the point of consolation from his team.
“People always go on about records and all this. They said, ‘Oh, he lost, he’s a bum,’ and all that. Well, you get your bum a** in there, then.”
“And we’ve seen what happened. Look at Colon, Prichard Colon. This man didn’t have any kids.
“And I don’t even know him like that, but I’ll always be an advocate for us.
“This man will never know what it feels like to be somebody’s father. That’s the most precious thing in the world to be somebody’s father.
“But he’ll never be anybody’s father, man. This man will never have a natural living again because he got in the ring to support his family.
“Now his family have gotta take care of him for the rest of his life.”
Tyson Fury comments
Just five weeks before Wilder’s breakdown, WBN stated the former heavyweight champion should be suspended by the WBC.
His comments regarding Tyson Fury in a story from September 8 were genuinely shocking. Again, Wilder spoke about killing someone in the right without remorse.
“No, [I will] never [be civil with Tyson Fury]. Because I know the truth behind that [Fury cheated],” Wilder said to FightHype.com.
“I don’t condone cheating. I know that no matter what people say.
“It’s just like you got analysts that say, If he did have something in his glove, why did you not go to the authorities?
“I wish I was in front of them. I would grab their collar and put them close to my face so that we could be eye to eye, face to face.
“So much so that my breath touched their face. I would tell them, ‘why the f*** would I go to the authorities when I have an opportunity to release my own energy?
“[I have the opportunity to] put my hands up on him [again]. The possibility of trying to kill him and get paid millions of dollars doing it.’
“Why would I go to the authorities?
“[If] I go to the authorities and they lock him up, then what’s next? – That’s it. It’s a good write-up. OK, we proved our case. But nobody is getting fed.
“What justice has that done? That doesn’t make any sense. That sounds like somebody is non-confrontational in combat sports because their mindset is not set on combat.
“It’s set on being nice. That theory doesn’t even make sense to me. We are in the hurt business. This is what we do.
“[If] I can hurt you and get paid to do it, that sounds like a sweet deal to me.”
Deontay Wilder’ wanting a body’
Four years ago, Wilder said something even worse when appearing on The Breakfast Club morning show on Power 105.1 FM.
His words brought attention from the World Boxing Council. However, the Alabama slammer didn’t listen as he repeated them again.
The only difference this time around was that Wilder tried to pass off the comments as being said by “The Bronze Bomber” and not himself.
“I want a body on my record. But I want one. I want one. I really do,” Wilder said. “That’s the ‘Bronze Bomber,’ he wants one.
“I always tell people, when I’m in the ring like I’m the ‘Bronze Bomber.’ Everything about me changes.
“I don’t get nervous. And I don’t get scared, I don’t get butterflies, and I don’t have any feelings toward the man I’m going to fight.
“I come here for one thing, and that’s to knock you out and go back home. The power that I have, man; it’s easy to be able to do so.”
Two years earlier, in 2016, at the same venue as his win over Helenius in Brooklyn, New York, Wilder stated the Artur Szpilka punch was the closest he’s come to ending someone in the ring.
“I thought I had one [body] one time, like I said, with Szpilka, because he wasn’t breathing when he hit the canvas,” he explained.
“Somebody’s gotta go. I want that on my record because when I’m in that state of mind like, I’m not myself.
“My power is so crazy that I don’t even know the [strength] of it. I can only imagine me getting into a fight in the street. It’d be crazy.
‘Szpilka was dead’
“If I’m putting on ten-ounce gloves and hitting guys like I hit Szpilka when I came here in Brooklyn and fought him, he was dead for three to five seconds.
“Imagine. That’s what I don’t condone — violence outside the ring. I don’t want to see it.
“[My right hand] is registered. It’s just like having a pistol for me. If I’m at harm, or harm comes at me and threatens me, I have the right to defend myself.”
After Szpilka, Luis Ortiz [twice], Dominic Breazeale, and Bermane Stiverne [both first round] got handled similarly. Wilder is not only considered one of the best heavyweights on the planet, but he’s also by far the biggest puncher.
Now under the guidance of Malik Scott, the boxing star has his first win under his former opponent.
Despite his win, Wilder faced a backlash from some fans for his tears in the aftermath.
“If you don’t appreciate Wilder, you don’t appreciate boxing? Wilder is the biggest hypocrite in boxing,” said one.
Another added: “You’ve clearly not followed Wilder for very long as he’s fake and dramatic as anyone in this sport.
“No tears, pathetic. Hypocrite too. To say what he said, especially after someone just died in the ring, is next-level disrespect.”
A third stated: “Everyone’s laughing at Wilder crying in the post-fight press conference. Before that, he said, ‘I want a body on my record.'”
That “Bronze Bomber” persona he speaks of will probably come to the fore again if Wilder is asked to defend his comments.
And as his fiance Telli Swift exclusively told WBN recently, it’s something Wilder has to do to flick the switch.
“Deontay Wilder and Bronze Bomber are completely different. Deontay is a father, spouse, and gentleman,” Telli told World Boxing News.
“Bronze Bomber is a beast, a warrior, ready to demolish whoever is in his way to get to the goal at stake.
“The Bronze Bomber, I feel, is what Deontay needs to turn into pertaining to his job as a boxer.
“You have to be tough if you’re in this particular business,” she added.
After hitting 42 KOs from 43 wins, Wilder’s next fight should be a WBC heavyweight title final eliminator against Andy Ruiz Jr. in February.
Premier Boxing Champions supremo Al Haymon is aiming to stage the fight in Las Vegas either at the MGM Grand Garden Arena or the T-Mobile across the strip.
The plan comes after Ruiz also won an eliminator last month. If Wilder beats Ruiz, he could get another revenge mission against Fury, possibly in London later in 2023.
Oleksandr Usyk’s failure to turn up ringside for the Helenius event was a blow to any world title shot being made with the Ukrainian.
After Fury has a WBC title warm-up against Derek Chisora or Mahmoud Charr, Usyk should be next for “The Gypsy King” in the Middle East.
The views expressed in this article are the opinions of Phil Jay.