Wilder Nearly Retired, But Changed Mind After Seeing Statue

Deontay Wilder will fight Robert Helenius on FOX pay-per-view, on October 15th, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, which will be Wilder’s five straight appearance on pay-per-view in a row, but this might not have happened if it wasn’t for one historic moment in his life.

“What really got me back to this point [was the realization], like, damn, the world really needs me,” Wilder said candidly to Brian Custer, on his podcast, The Last Stand podcast with Brian Custer. “I really motivate people. Although I’ve already known [that], even more so … when I got my statue man – When I got my statue, and that set all my accomplishments in stone, you’re looking at a walking, living legend. No matter what, my supporters or my haters, when all talk dies, that statue stay risen. You feel me? That statue stay there forever ‘til God comes and takes it away or some type of disaster happens … to see so many people come [for the unveiling] and women and see men break down and show their vulnerable side – I love that.”

Wilder is a unique individual, never afraid to speak his mind or even align himself with smaller media platforms over traditional major media outlets. Wilder has become a figurehead for the forgotten, the American underdog, and those who have been heavily doubted. Wilder, who came to boxing late - has become an Olympic bronze medalist and a world champion who held the heavyweight title for half a decade.

“Many times before I used to think ‘when are you gonna be done? Is this it.’ And sometimes you’ll sit and a week will go by, two weeks go by, and then you’ll get that urge to get back to the gym, wanna go back and hit something, wanna be around the sweat, the smell of the gym. All that, the whole atmosphere of it,” confessed Wilder. “This time around it was different. I didn’t feel that urge. I didn’t feel that sense of wanting to hit, going to the gym and smell the atmosphere and sweat and the conversations of boxing, all those different things I didn’t feel it. And for months I didn’t feel that urge. I didn’t really know if I was going to return. When you’re a successful Black man as myself and what I’ve not only on the inside but the outside of the ring it’s hard to just really – do you go back? Especially when you don’t need the business anymore.”

It was his a tribute in his hometown, a statue erected in his honor that drove him back to pugilism.

“Do you go back? Because most fighters in this business are only in it to come out of poverty. We want to be able to get ourselves out of a bad situation and support our families first and foremost. When you have achieved so much and have done that and you’re straight, it’s like why go back? You don’t see anybody with a silver spoon … come into boxing. That’s why [the sport] consists of guys that have been locked up, [or come from] rural areas, dope dealers, murderers, anything you have in prison you gon’ find in the business.”

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