Former WBC champion Deontay Wilder has told of his first ever sparring session, where he discovered the extent of his natural power despite never before stepping in the ring.
On The Pivot Podcast, Wilder spoke about his first foray into the squared circle, where he was tasked with sparring the biggest heavyweight in the gym, but it proved to be a walk in the park for ‘The Bronze Bomber’.
“We got in there with one of the biggest heavyweights in the gym and he looked the toughest, once I got in there and the bell rung, I laid him out in a couple of seconds.
As he laid on his back, he lifted his head up, he looked at me, he looked at my trainer, he looked at me and smiled and said, ‘keep him in here, he’s strong’.
So from that point, it built up confidence, it built up excitement for me and I couldn’t believe I dropped this guy in boxing and stuff like that. It’s two different worlds, being in the streets and then coming in here in something organised inside this ring where it takes discipline and skills, the mindset and the heart to win.”
“From that point on, because of that confidence booster of me seeing that I can do this and I haven’t been in here this long and I’m already dropping a heavyweight on there. The sky was the limit for me and we understood that I had something special, that couldn’t be taught, it’s god-given, it’s god-given power where I can touch a guy with one punch and get him out of there.”
Although Wilder will forever have critics regarding his boxing ability, his power is unquestionable, and he is rightly known as one of the hardest punchers that the sport has ever seen.
The switch to his new trainer, Malik Scott, is a move to help him brush up on the fundamentals of boxing and reduce his dependence on landing the one-punch knockout though, making him a threat to any opponent.
After an additional year under the guidance of Scott, Wilder returns to the ring to fight Robert Helenius on Saturday night, where we will see any adjustments that have been made to his style. The heavyweight clash tops a strong undercard, featuring the likes of Caleb Plant, Gary Antonio Russell and Frank Sanchez.