Home Boxing News Deontay Wilder announces plans to retire at 40

Deontay Wilder announces plans to retire at 40

Deontay Wilder at the presser for the Luis Ortiz rematch. Photo credit: Nabeel Ahmad/PBC

Former WBC heavyweight champion Deontay ‘The Bronze Bomber’ Wilder 42-2-1 (41) has revealed he plans on boxing for three more years before retiring.

The 36-year-old American will face Robert ‘The Nordic Nightmare’ Helenius 31-3 (20) at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York in what will be his 46th professional bout. Wilder turns 37 later this month.

“I give it all 110% percent,” said Wilder on The Pivot Podcast. “I tell people that I only have three years left that I want to dedicate to this business. I want to get back to the big fights and to giving the fans what they want to see, and that’s me risking my life for others’ entertainment…

“I’m doing it for the people this time. It’s not about just my family anymore, it’s about everyone who I’ve motivated, inspired and encouraged all over the world.”

Wilder said his original plan was to become a journeyman to earn extra money to support his daughter.

“I never knew why I had such a quick temper, but over time you learn to put away childish things and that’s the story of me,” he said.

“I had to understand what was worth me putting action toward and what wasn’t. Especially when you start having kids, because everything you do is about them. That’s when I had to start thinking about my actions, because I knew that if I wasn’t in their lives, then nobody was getting fed.

“When you get into a boxing ring you become organised. It’s a structure and a discipline. It requires a certain standard to compete and really do it. When I had my first sparring session is when I realised that I could be something.

“The only reason I even went into the gym was to become a journeyman because I was just doing it due to my daughter having spina bifida. It led me to the gym.

“I thought I could double my money if I made it to the Olympic team. I knew that would help me even more than just going right into the journey as a pro. I took that route and made the Olympic team and medaled, all in a year and a half… the rest is history from there.”

After suffering back-to-back knockout losses to Tyson Fury, Wilder seriously contemplated retirement before the erection of a statue in his image in his hometown of Tuscaloosa, Alabama made him change his mind.

“Certain things, you just don’t have words for,” said Wilder. “My vocabulary is not big enough to express the true feeling of how I felt. I was in a very emotional state to be presented that statue. It was amazing to see people from all over the world want to come and commune and celebrate that moment in time.

“Especially being in the heart of Dixie, because they put a black warrior right by the Black Warrior River. That was an area where blacks were prohibited by whites unless driven to clean their houses, and up the street they sold slaves. It’s crazy to think about all that. I never would have thought in a million years that I’d receive a statue, but especially for the place it happened in, it was an unbelievable feeling.”