The Bronze Bomber has been at the top of his game for several years and his thrilling draw with Tyson Fury was one of 2018’s best bouts.
Wilder believes he is the best in the showpiece division but fans are still waiting for him to face current top dog Anthony Joshua.
The brash brawler from Alabama should be involved in some huge fights in the near future and here’s everything you need to know about him.
Born: Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Date of Birth: 22/10/85
Height: 6ft 7in
Nickname: The Bronze Bomber
Pro Record: 32(32)-0
2007 – National Golden Gloves Heavyweight Champion
2007 – United States Amateur Heavyweight Champion
2007 – US Heavyweight at the World Championships in Chicago, USA. Lost to Krzysztof Zimnoch (Poland) (20-23)
2008 – Qualified as a heavyweight for the United States Olympic Team. Beat Anthony Tettis (19-9), Joe Guzman (26-14), Quantis Graves (11-7), Quantis Graves (12-9) at the Box-offs
2008 – Heavyweight Bronze Medallist for the United States at the Beijing Olympics in Beijing, beat Abdelaziz Toulbini (Algeria) (10-4) and Mohamed Arjaoui (Morocco) (on count-back after bout ended 10-10), lost to Clemente Russo (Italy) (1-7)
1) Wilder didn’t start boxing until he was 21-years-old, when he walked into Jay and Tommy Dea’s Gym in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He was 6ft 7in, skinny and on first sight Jay told him, “there’s a basketball court down the street.”
2) After ambitions to become a football or basketball player at University of Alabama never materialised, Wilder planned to have a few amateur fights and become a journeyman professional. He said, “I knew very little about boxing. I was ignorant of the sport. My whole idea of coming into the gym was to become a journeyman and climb as high as I could go. I thought every boxer made a lot of money.”
3) Inside 21 amateur contests, Wilder had won the 2007 National Golden Gloves at 201lb and at the Olympic trials, twice defeated favourite Quantis Graves to earn a spot at the Beijing Olympics.
4) In Beijing, Wilder won a surprise bronze medal, beating Abdelaziz Toulbini and Mohamed Arjaoui before losing to the experienced fighter Italian Clemente Russo in the semi-final. He is the last American male to win an Olympic medal in boxing.
5) His daughter Naieya, 9, was born with spina bifida. He supports his daughter who lives with her mother. Wilders insists that he started boxing to support her, explaining, “she’s the reason why I’m here right now. Without her being born – me having her – I would not be boxing right now.” When times were tough he held down two jobs to support her.
6) When ‘The Bronze Bomber’ turned professional he signed with Golden Boy Promotions after he was spotted as an amateur by their matchmaker, Eric Gomez. After turning professional, Al Haymon became his advisor. Saturday’s clash against Stiverne will be his final contest for GBP with Haymon’s influence growing.
7) All of Wilder’s opponents have been beaten inside four rounds. Only Harold Sconiers, Marlon Hayes and Nicolai Firtha have made it into round four. Wilder has beaten 18 opponents in the first round.
8) He has boxed once in Britain on the Amir Khan v Julio Diaz card in Sheffield in April 2013. Then, he beat Audley Harrison inside 70 seconds.
9) Las Vegas hasn’t always been a happy place for Wilder. After the Floyd Mayweather v Robert Guerrero fight in May 2013 he was arrested at the MGM Hotel after an incident with a woman who he thought was stealing from him. The woman accepted an apology and the case never went to court.
10) He has history with Bermane Stiverne. He was involved in a clash with the WBC champion outside the fast food court at the MGM Grand Hotel after the weigh-in for Floyd Mayweather’s first fight against Marcos Maidana last May.
A young Deontay dreamed of becoming an NFL player as a wide receiver but the birth of his daughter with spina bifida issues forced him to stay nearby and focus on a boxing career instead. He told his daughter, now a teenager, when he started boxing that he would become a world champion and he fulfilled his promise. He has even written a children’s book about it to inspire them to follow their dreams, and has plans to write more books because he loves kids and being a father.
Anything Worth Having…
To support his young family, he worked at IHOP, AI-Three Company (Mercedes company), Red Lobster and Budweiser, whilst working his way up as an amateur boxer. His delivery driving job for Budweiser meant that he had to get up at 5am every morning and lift a thousand cases of beer onto his truck, which he considered to be his early morning workout before hitting the gym later after his shift was over.
Wilder only started boxing in 2005 when he joined Skyy Boxing Gym in Northport, Alabama, aged 20. Just two years later, he beat the favourites to win both the National Golden Gloves and the US Championships and earned a place on the American Olympics team after just 21 bouts!
Wilder’s amateur career finished at an impressive 30-5. His pro career is currently at 40-0 with a whopping 39 KOs, only racking up 123 rounds, which relates to an average of three-rounds per fight. He is 33-years-old, 6ft 7in in height with an 83in reach.
The Bronze Bomber
As an amateur, he won a bronze medal in the heavyweight division at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, which led to his nickname becoming ‘The Bronze Bomber’, which Wilder coined from his idol Joe Louis, who was known as ‘The Brown Bomber’.
Deontay ended the longest period of time in the history of American heavyweight boxing without a champion – nine years. He succeeded American heavyweight champions Shannon Briggs (WBO) and Hasim Rahman (WBC) by winning the WBC belt in 2015 on the same day as his idol Muhammed Ali’s birthday – January 17.
He has a fearsome 39 KOs from 40 fights, which is 98% KO ratio, and is a two-time winner of the Premier Boxing Champions Knockout of the Year Award in 2016 and 2017.
History in the Making
He is the 15th longest reigning champion of all-time and has the ninth longest combined and individual title streaks in heavyweight history. He is the 23rd World Boxing Council champion in history, the list beginning in 1963 with Sonny Liston, and is the 5th longest reigning WBC titleholder in history behind Larry Holmes (2,011 days); Vitali Klitschko (1,891); Muhammed Ali (1,841 days); and Lennox Lewis (1,535 days).
Deontay Leshun Wilder has three children – two daughters and a son – with Jessica Scales-Wilder but are now divorced. His new fiancée Telli Swift, with whom he has another child with, was featured on American reality TV show WAGS Atlanta.
Talent Runs in the Family
His younger brother, Marsellos, is also an unbeaten professional boxer operating in the cruiserweight division and has similar traits to his older sibling having knocked out both of his opponents in the first round. The 29-year-old next fights on the undercard of Wilder-Fury on December 1.
Wilder loves a tattoo or two! He likes to inscribe his life stories on his body in ink and even has a tattoo of the WBC title on his thigh.
When his local Coffeyville High School was closed down, Wilder saw it as an opportunity to help the community by turning it into a boxing gym and also gives up his time to help teach the kids.