A New American Boxing Hero

By Will Sandman | gargoyle@flagler.edu


deontay-wilder-5cc89c23133d8153In an age of boxers and not fighters, it’s rare to see classic knockouts.

The bone chilling, eye popping, haymaker shots that boxing fans pay their hard earned money to see are being replaced by smarter, quicker boxers.

Not that it’s a knock against those guys, boxers like Floyd Mayweather may age much better than the Ali’s and Foreman’s of old. Yet, today we may have one of the best knockout artists of all time on our hands.

Despite his jaw dropping numbers (35-0, 34 KO’s) Deontay Wilder is fairly unknown.

He has a fascinating story as well. Born in Alabama, the 6’7” Wilder came out of nowhere in 2007 to win the Golden Gloves and the U.S. National Championship, upsetting the favorites on the way.

Before that he was a junior college dropout.

Wilder attended Shelton State Community College before the birth of his daughter forced him into full-time employment. His daughter, Naieya, suffers from a spinal condition that makes it difficult for her to walk. On Naieya’s first birthday Wilder promised her he would be a World Champion.

Ten years later he won the WBC heavyweight title.

It was the first time that an American held a heavyweight title in nearly ten years, shocking considering the historical dominance of that division by the United States.

Wilder may be inching closer to putting his name in the Joe Louis, Muhammad Ali, George Foreman category. On September 26th, Wilder punished and abused Johann Duhuapas en route to an 11th round TKO. Duhuapas left bleeding and wondering what had just hit him.

He’s not the first one either, not with knockouts like these.



However, in order to gain the ultimate titles that Wilder craves he’ll have to go through Wladimir Klitschko. At 39, the 6’6” Russian is not what he once was, but that doesn’t mean much, he’s still a fantastic fighter.

Klitschko recently called out Wilder for choosing easy opponents, something Wilder didn’t pay much attention to. Wilder responded by saying, “For him to make that statement, basically is for him to really criticize his own self or to talk bad about himself because if he’s talking about opponents or whatever, he’s been doing the same thing for over a decade.”

That fight will hopefully happen sometime next year, both Wilder and Klitschko have mandatory defenses of their belt to get out of the way first. Wilder’s next fight will be against Alexander Povetkin, who looks to be the most accomplished of Wilder’s opponents to date.

When Wilder does eventually fight Klitschko, he has a good chance to unify the belts. If he does he will become the first undisputed heavyweight champ since Lennox Lewis in 2000 and the first undisputed american champion since Evander Holyfield and Riddick Bowe did it in 1992.

Whatever happens, his fights are undeniably fun to watch. There will always be big punches and lots of them, Wilder is a showman in the ring.

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