Former heavyweight champion, Deontay Wilder, has named his fighting ‘idol’, citing accomplishments both inside and outside of the ring as the reason for his appreciation.
Wilder knocked out all thirty-two of his opponents on his run to challenge for a world title, before outpointing Bermaine Stiverne to win the WBC belt.
‘The Bronze Bomber’ then made ten defences of his world title, establishing himself as one the most powerful champions of all time before losing out to Tyson Fury in 2020.
“It’s hard right now for a black man, we’ve all got P.T.S.D. coming out of the womb, in the environment that we have come up in. To see what he had done, in the times that he did it in, and he was great inside of the ring too, he lost some battles and won some battles, he put on an incredible show, which provided a service to his greatness.
He risked his life for our entertainment, and it was amazing to see, but the work that he done on the outside of the ring, the respect and the love that he had from people all over the world, all types of people, no matter what colour, gender, size, shape, he was loved.
He was loved because of the man that he was and the work that he provided in the community, the service, the unselfishness that he provided to the people. I have nothing but respect for that, he is one of my mentors, that is my idol in boxing.”
It shouldn’t come as any great surprise that Wilder chose the man named Sportsman of the Century by Sports Illustrated and the Sports Personality of the Century by the BBC, and who went by the nickname ‘The Greatest’.