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Deontay ‘Bronze Bomber’ Wilder’s Image Immortalized By A Statue – Westside Story Newspaper – Online

from Lem Satterfield

Deontay Wilder is known as the “Bronze Bomber” for winning a bronze medal at the 2008 Olympics.

And now he is immortalized in bronze.

Last month, Wilder was honored as a colored man with a 7-foot-tall statue “down the street from where they sold slaves,” he says.

A former heavyweight champion born and raised in Tuscaloosa, Ala., Wilder unveiled his bronze statue on May 25 during a confetti-decorated ceremony in front of hundreds of fans outside the Tuscaloosa Tourism and Sports building.

6-foot-7 Wilder kissed the 7-foot, 830-pound statue, which resembled the hammer-punched warrior with the carved upper torso and sharp wings.

“God has truly blessed me. “It’s amazing and the perfect time for me to be immortalized with a bronze statue that looks just like me,” Wilder said. “I’m a man of color living in the heart of Dixie and my resemblance is positioned in a place just down the street from where they used to sell slaves in the days.”

Deontay Wilder (right) scored a knockout in the 10th round against previously undefeated southern Cuban Luis Ortiz (left) in March 2018 and came from behind to win the November 2019 rematch by knockout in the seventh round. (Leading boxing champions)

The symbolism is not lost on Wilder, whose homage came one year a day from the assassination of George Floyd on Memorial Day. Floyd was strangled to death on May 25, 2020, by white Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who in June 2021 was convicted of murder after kneeling on the neck of a Houston native for nearly 10 minutes.

Wilder was attacked nearly two years after the June 2, 2020, removal of the 115-year-old Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Monument from Linn Park. Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin did so after a week of riots after Floyd among citizens of the black-majority city an hour away from Tuscaloosa.

“There are some of the confederate statues that are collapsing nearby, but there are still some areas where historical memorials still stand as representations of racism from the time of slavery and segregation,” said Wilder, a 36-year-old father of five. girls and three boys aged 4 to 17 years.

“For all the sacrifices I have made and the time I have spent in my career and in the community, what a miracle for a black man who is still alive, young, handsome, rich and happy known to the public by local citizens. “I’m still making history.”

“Bronze Bomber” with his statue. (Courtesy of Deontay Wilder)

The “Bronze Bomber” career is one of the injuries overcome, given his relatively late start in the sport, as well as being mostly weighed and small.

Wilder (42-2-1, 41 KOs) is 10-2-1 (9 KOs) in title fights and 9-0-1 (9 KOs) in ten consecutive defenses. Ten defenses equal Wilder to Muhammad Ali for the fifth of all time among heavyweights.

Wilder had recorded seven knockouts in a row before going 0-2-1 in his last three games with Tyson Fury 6-foot-9, twice being knocked out and dethroned as the WBC champion.

Fury was hit twice by Wilder during their draw in December 2018 before winning with stops in the seventh and 11th rounds in February 2020 and October 2021.

A comeback is not unquestionable for Wilder whether it means a fourth showdown with Fury or the challenge of unbeaten two-division title winner Oleksandr Usyk, who dominated and ousted IBF / WBA / WBO champion Anthony Joshua in September .

“I am considering resuming my career if any men there have the courage to fight me. “On the other hand, I worked hard to have the lifestyle I have and the free time to spend with my family,” said Wilder.

“I had a vision from the beginning of my career and I was able to create a foundation, doing the right things to be in the position I am in. I have the love of my family and the love of the people in my community. ”

Wilder claims to have been “prophesied” to overthrow Bermane Stiverne as WBC champion by unanimous decision on January 17, 2015, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, doing so on the 73rd birthday of the late Muhammad Ali and two days after Martin Luther’s birthday. The King is on January 15th.

A more complete view of former heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder (left) with his family on May 25 for the unveiling of his 7-foot, 830-pound statue on the campus of the Tuscaloosa Tourism and Sports building. (Courtesy of Deontay Wilder)

Wilder became America’s first heavyweight champion since Shannon Briggs in 2007, fulfilling a vow made to his daughter, Naieya, who was born on March 20, 2005, with congenital spina bifida, and told could never walk.

Wilder said his grandmother, Evelyn Loggins, a minister, repeatedly told him as a child that he was “special, anointed and ordained” before her death in 2010 at the age of 76.

A 19-year-old Wilder left Shelton State Community College to support Naieya, taking a job driving a truck and another at a restaurant. Wilder turned to boxing at the urging of a friend and won an Olympic bronze medal in 2008.

In October 2012, Wilder celebrated his 27th birthday as the main partner for Wladimir Klitschko before then-unified heavyweight champion won the unanimous decision against Mariusz Wach that November.

Wilder was invited to the Klitschko camp by coach Emanuel Steward, who named Wilder as Klitschko’s successor, calling him “America’s No. 1 Best Heavyweight Perspective”.

Steward was 68 years old when he died of cancer on October 25, 2012, three days after Wilder’s birthday.

“I became world champion just like Emanuel Steward said,” Wilder said. “I’m anointed like my grandmother said.”

Wilder is the second most popular sports figure in his hometown after the 18-time national champion of the University of Alabama football team, having fought nine times in his home state, with four of those battles being sold for defense. of the title.

Wilder financially supports the Skyy South recreation and boxing facility, which is free for children in Coffeeville, Ala ..

“Deontay’s local influence is so strong. “Deontay-inspired people across the board, whether you’re black, white, Hispanic or Asian,” said Wilder’s manager and coach during his career, Jay Deas.

“Joe Louis, Evander Holyfield, Earnie Shavers, Frankie Randall and Tracy Harris Patterson were all Alabama-born fighters, but Deontay is truly the first native-born fighter who achieves everything by staying home.”

Wilder was at the White House in May 2018 when then-President Donald Trump pardoned after the death of Jack Johnson, America’s first colored champion in heavyweight. The pardon came nearly 100 years after Johnson was convicted of violating the Mann Act in 1913 for transporting a white woman across state lines “for immoral purposes.”

Johnson endured racial epithets and death threats while dominating white opponents and living a rich lifestyle outside the ring. Johnson served nearly a year and was 68 years old when he died in a car accident in North Carolina in 1946.

“Jack Johnson certainly had a lot worse than me, but as an athlete of color like Johnson, I want to inspire as a positive and motivating role model,” Wilder said. “It is my mission to be a hero for my people. That was the mission of people like Muhammad Ali and some of our greatest black inventors. “

Wilder has suffered several arm injuries and punches during his career dating back to a 90-second TKO by Travis Allen in his seventh professional fight in August 2009, yet has knocked down or stopped anyone he has faced as a professional.

Deontay Wilder (left) knocked down Bermane Stiverne (right) three times in a knockout victory in the first round to retain his WBC heavyweight title in their November 2017 rematch. Wilder knocked Stiverne off the throne by decision unanimous in January 2015. (Champion Premier Boxing)

“The Bronze Bomber” required surgery and therapy after suffering a left biceps fracture during his initial loss to Fury and underwent a 90-minute operation nine days after the battle to repair the metacarpal bone of his hand after breaking it in the round. fourth, though he twice. removed Fury in that round.

“I have always said that my goal no. 1 was to be the undisputed heavyweight champion in the world, but if I go back to boxing, it should really be worth my time, and it will be because I love it and not. “because it should,” said Wilder.

“Over 90 percent of retired fighters have no faculties or anything to tell about their careers after the game, but I have invested wisely, so I am blessed to say that I should not re-enter the ring for the rest of my life. “I will be back in the ring if the money is right.”

Edited by Richard Pretorius and Matthew B. Hall

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Deontay ‘Bronze Bomber’ Wilder’s Image Immortalized By A Statue – Westside Story Newspaper – Online Source link Deontay ‘Bronze Bomber’ Wilder’s Image Immortalized By A Statue – Westside Story Newspaper – Online

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