Deontay Wilder is a professional boxer from the United States. He is also a former WBC heavyweight champion.
From 2015 to 2020, Wilder held the WBC heavyweight title, which he successfully defended ten times. Wilder won the title, becoming the first American world heavyweight champion since 2004, the longest period in boxing history without an American heavyweight champion.
As of May 2021, BoxRec, the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, and The Ring magazine ranked him as the world’s third-best active heavyweight, and BoxRec ranked him as the ninth-best active boxer, pound for pound.
He won a bronze medal in the heavyweight division as an amateur at the 2008 Olympics.
Wilder is well-known for his devastating punching power, having knocked out every opponent he has faced. His knockout-to-win percentage is 98 percent, with 20 first-round knockouts. He has won the Premier Boxing Champions Knockout of the Year award three times (2016, 2017, 2019) and the Ring magazine Knockout of the Year award once (2019).
Wilder began boxing in October 2005, when he enrolled at Skyy Boxing Gym in Northport, Alabama, and began training with Jay Deas.
He defeated Graves twice more at the Olympic trials, winning the competition in only 21 bouts. In early 2008, he won a career-high win in Russia, defeating world championship silver medalist and future Olympic champion Rakhim Chakhiyev. He qualified for the Olympics by defeating Ecuador’s Deivis Julio Jorge Quinones on double countback and Brazilian Rafael Lima in the qualifier.
Wilder competed at heavyweight in the 2008 Olympics, defeating Algeria’s Abdelaziz Touilbini and Morocco’s Mohamed Arjaoui before falling to Italy’s Clemente Russo in the semi-finals to earn a bronze medal. Wilder had a amateur record of 30–5.
Wilder made his professional debut on November 15, 2008, at the age of 23, at the Vanderbilt University Memorial Gymnasium in Nashville, Tennessee. He defeated Ethan Cox (2-2-1) by technical knockout (TKO) in the second round after knocking him down three times. Wilder fought seven times in 2009, winning all of them in the first round.
Wilder won his first professional boxing title on December 15, 2012, when he knocked out 37-year-old Kelvin Price (13-0, 6 KOs) at the Memorial Sports Arena in Los Angeles.
Wilder vs. Bermane Stiverne
Wilder fought Stiverne for the WBC heavyweight title on January 17, 2015, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Wilder defeated Stiverne by unanimous decision after twelve rounds to become the first American heavyweight world champion since Hasim Rahman.
It received scores of 118–109, 119–108, and 120–107 from the judges. Wilder dedicated his victory to his disabled daughter and to his boxing hero Muhammad Ali, who turned 73 on the same day.
Wilder vs. Eric Molina
WBC #14 Eric Molina (23-2, 17 KOs) was announced as Wilder’s opponent shortly after. Molina wanted to be the first Mexican-American world heavyweight champion in history.
It was announced that the event was sold out with a total attendance of 9,347 people. Wilder dominated, knocking down Molina near the end of round four, twice in round five, and again in round nine, knocking him out onto his back.
Wilder vs. Artur Szpilka
Showtime confirmed in December 2015 that Wilder had agreed to defend his WBC title against Polish boxer Artur Szpilka (20-1, 15 KOs) on January 16, 2016, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Wilder won the fight and reportedly earned a career-high $1.5 million in contrast to Szpilka’s $250,000 purse. The fight drew 500,000 viewers on average and 623,000 viewers at its peak.
Wilder vs Tyson Fury
On July 30, it was reported that negotiations were underway for a fight between former unified heavyweight world champion Tyson Fury (27-0, 19 KOs) and Wilder to take place in either November or December 2018. On July 31, Fury stated that the fight with Wilder was 99 percent set, with only a location and date to be determined.
Contracts for the fight had been signed by the end of August. Both fighters confirmed on September 22 that they had signed the contract and that the fight would take place on December 1, 2018. Wilder would earn a guaranteed base purse of $4 million, while Fury would earn a guaranteed purse of $3 million, according to the California State Athletic Commission.
Wilder and Fury fought to a twelve-round split decision draw in front of 17,698 fans at the Staples Center, ensuring Wilder retained his WBC title. According to CompuBox statistics, Wilder landed 71 of 430 punches thrown (17 percent), while Fury landed 84 of his 327 thrown punches (26 percent ).
On November 27, 2019, it was announced that Wilder would face Tyson Fury on February 22, 2020, in a rematch of their 2018 draw. Wilder weighed in at a career-high 231 pounds, while Fury, at 273 pounds, was also heavier for the rematch than he was for the first fight.
Despite being the slight betting favourite going into the fight, Fury dropped him in the third round with a left hook, overhand right combination. Fury knocked Wilder out again in the fifth round, this time with a body shot. Wilder eventually lost the fight by technical knockout in the seventh round.
Many criticised and labelled Wilder’s attempts to justify his loss as “excuses,” including Tyson Fury, former undisputed heavyweight champion Mike Tyson, and British heavyweight rivals Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte.
On May 17, 2021, arbitrator Daniel Weinstein ruled that Tyson Fury must honour a contractual clause requiring a third fight with Wilder. Following that, Fury’s promoter Bob Arum claimed that the Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas had been reserved for Wilder’s trilogy fight with Fury on July 24, 2021. The venue was officially confirmed as T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas ahead of their pre-fight press conference on June 15.
Professional record summary
|42 wins||1 loss|
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