In the past few decades, boxing enthusiasts can rightly argue that the heavyweight division has seen a decline in talent, especially from America which in recent history has produced legendary fighters such as Mike Tyson and Evander Hollyfield. However, in recent times, former Olympic bronze medal winner, Deontay Wilder, looks to be driving heavyweight boxing back to the forefront – thanks to his perfect record and sterling fighting reputation that has twice earned him the Premier Boxing Champions Knockout of the Year award.
Wilder was born Deontay Leshun Wilder, the second of four children to Gary and Deborah Wilder, on the 22nd of October 1985 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama where he was raised. Wilder was a standout athlete while growing up and he hoped to have a career in either basketball or football, two of the biggest sports in his home state.
He attended Tuscaloosa Central High School where he excelled in both sports. He had hoped to attend the University of Alabama to play either of them but following the birth of his daughter and his poor academic performance in high school, he was only able to attend Shelton State Community College, during which he began to work towards having a boxing career.
Deontay Wilder officially began his boxing training in 2005. He soon began fighting at an amateur level and was able to win two amateur boxing titles; National Golden Gloves and the US championships in 2007. Wilder had upset favourites to achieve this, so, he went ahead to try out for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. He was successful in his bid to represent the United States at the summer games where he managed a bronze medal win after falling to Italy’s Clemente Russo in the semi-final.
After the Olympics, Wilder, who had managed an amateur record of 30 wins and 5 losses turned professional. He made his debut against Ethan Cox who he knocked out in the second round. In 2009, Wilder recorded first-round knockout wins from all his seven fights that year. His winning streak continued all through 2010 and 2011 but what was, however, headline-grabbing about those victories was that he did so with knockouts that all came within the first four rounds of the fights.
In December 2012, after amassing a 25-0 record, Deontay Wilder got his chance to win his first title against the also unbeaten Kelvin Price. Wilder knocked Price out to win the vacant WBC Continental Americas heavyweight title. He successfully defended the title on two occasions before adding the WBC heavyweight title to his collection in January 2015 by beating Bermane Stiverne via unanimous decision. Since that time, Wilder has had to defend his title on seven occasions, with his record, as of September 2018, he has 40 wins and 0 losses.
Does He Have A Wife Or Girlfriend?
Deontay Wilder was previously married to the mother of his first four children – Jessica Scales-Wilder. The couple however divorced after 8 years of marriage, giving room for him to get engaged to soon-to-be mother of his fifth child, reality television star, Telli Swift, who appears on WAGS Atlanta.
Deontay Wilder’s Daughter
Deontay and his first wife Jessica got married in 2009 after having dated for a few years. The couple was blessed with four children; two boys and two girls. His first, Naieya, who was born in 2005, is who Wilder credits for sending him down a boxing career path as she was diagnosed with spina bifida before her birth. Doctors had recommended that the couple terminate the pregnancy and try again but they refused and went on to have her.
Following her birth, Naieya underwent a number of surgeries which aimed to give her the ability to walk. During this time, Wilder made sure to pay attention to boxing in order to be able to provide for his family which was what he said drove him to where he is today. Today, his baby girl walks without crutches and can even do cartwheels, things her parents thought would not be possible.
Wilder went on to have three more kids with his first wife; a daughter named Ava, and two sons named Deontay Jr. and Dereon.
The WBC heavyweight title holder’s younger brother, Marsellos Quinkeith Wilder, has followed in his footsteps to pursue a career in boxing. The younger Wilder who stands at 6 feet 3 inches or 191 cm made a somewhat late entry into the sport having only launched his fighting career professionally in May 2018, at the age of 29. The cruiserweight division boxer, as of September 2018, only has two fights under his belt where he both recorded first-round knockouts against his opponents.
Height And Weight
Deontay Wilder fights in the heavyweight division which has a minimum weight requirement of 90 kg or 200 pounds. Wilder, however, weighs a few tons above that at 220 pounds or 103 kg. He further has a height of 6 feet 7 inches or 201 cm.