SOCIAL MEDIA GRAPHIC

Deontay Wilder


Deontay Wilder was the Cinderella story of the amateur boxing season, rising from obscurity to not only win the National Golden Gloves and US Championships, but to earn a Bronze medal at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China, the United States’ only boxing medal. 
 
But Wilder’s compelling story doesn’t begin there; it begins in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where he was a stellar athlete in high school who had the opportunity to play college football and basketball. But his priorities were elsewhere, mainly with his daughter Naieya, who he worked two jobs to support.  Times were tough though, especially considering that Naieya was born with spinal bifida and required additional medical care.
 
So Wilder turned to boxing in 2005, knowing that his talents would eventually serve him well. And he was right. With just 14 bouts under his belt, Wilder roared through the National Golden Gloves and US Championships in 2007, and he eventually won the Olympic trials with just 21 total amateur bouts.  His improbable run continued in this summer’s Beijing Games, where he won two bouts before losing a semifinal decision to Italy’s Clemente Russo.  Back home with a Bronze medal in his hand, Wilder got ready for the next chapter of this amazing story, teaming up with Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions to help him on his road to gold as a professional.

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The 6-foot-7 Wilder, 29, hasn't come close to putting in a full night's work. He has gone four full rounds just one time since turning pro in November 2008. The virtually untested slugger has fought a total of 58 rounds, an average of 1.8 rounds per outing. He's registered 18 knockouts in the first round, eight in the second.

"I can't help that I always knock my guys out," Wilder said. "It's not my fault I make it look easy. When I knock Stiverne out I don't want to hear any whispers; I don't want to hear people say that he was a bum. I want the world to bow down and praise the heavyweight champion of the world. They have to finally admit that I'm just that good."

In his bout before last in March, in what was expected to be his most demanding assignment, Wilder blasted Malik Scott in 96 seconds. Wilder is coming off a fourth-round technical knockout over Jason Gavern in August 2013. Wilder dropped Gavern twice, once in the third and once in the fourth. The referee halted the one-sided proceedings at the end of the fourth round.

A 2008 U.S. Olympic bronze medalist and the last American male boxer to medal in The Olympics, Wilder will once again enter a boxing ring while carrying the weight of U.S. boxing fans on his shoulders.