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Home » Deontay Wilder interview reveals boxer with one foot out the door

Deontay Wilder interview reveals boxer with one foot out the door

Deontay Wilder gave an interview before his return to action this weekend with the vibes from the chat breeding conflictions.

Speaking to Matchroom Boxing ahead of his captaincy of the 5vs5 tournament this weekend in Saudi Arabia, Wilder was not his usual fiery self. He seems far more relaxed and in tune with his softer side as he plots a victory over Chinese juggernaut Zhilei Zhang that would get him back in the heavyweight picture.

Wilder’s last fight was a performance that had many questioning if the American slugger has the desire anymore. He still talks a good game, but the takeaway from the conversion still leaves more questions than answers.

Wilder responded on coming back from a loss, “It feels good to be back. This time, it’s amongst the sun and more heat, which I am used to, so it feels more like home. But to be amongst the culture and amongst the people [in Saudi Arabia], the fight experience is going to be great Saturday. They say when you love what you do it’s not working.”

Asked what he’s still enjoying about this journey in the sport of boxing, Wilder responded: “That’s a good question because this business can become a love-hate kind of business.

“Sometimes you can love the people, the money, the traveling, but sometimes you can get tired of it as well. I think it all evens itself out. But I love being able to support my family. I want to do what I love to do as a job and go back home and provide for my family and my children. Most of all, I want to give them the best education and the best the world has to offer.

On being chosen by Eddie Hearn as captain, Wilder concluded: “I have had pressure on my back since I was born. I am a natural-born leader, so it is a pleasure to be the captain. It’s a responsibility that I am so familiar with.”

There’s not much fire from Wilder when it comes to knowing his career could be over in a couple of days. A loss to Zhang would leave one of the greatest heavyweight champions of this era with nowhere to go. He has to win, but that sense of urgency isn’t there. It remains up in the air if “The Bronze Bomber” can recapture that fire at the age of 38.

Read all articles and exclusive interviews by Phil Jay. Learn more about the author, experienced boxing writer, and World Boxing News Editor since 2010. Follow on Twitter @PhilJWBN.