Friday, March 24, 2023  |


Deontay Wilder is still looking for respect, hopefully not another opponent

Photo credit: Ryan Hafey/Premier Boxing Champions

BROOKLYN, NEW YORK- Deontay Wilder feels he doesn’t get enough respect. That’s nothing new. The WBC heavyweight titlist stood in the shadows of Wladimir Klitschko for years, and now that IBF/WBA beltholder Anthony Joshua is recognized by most as the new heavyweight champion of the world, the undefeated 31-year-old from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, wants his voice to be heard once again.

Last Saturday night, he announced a fight that was supposed to happen, on November 4, against WBC mandatory challenger Bermane Stiverne in a rematch at Barclays Center, in Brooklyn, New York, on “Showtime Championship Boxing.” This came after Wilder (38-0, 37 knockouts) was supposed to fight Luis Ortiz, who was pulled after failing a pre-fight drug test.

There is a likelihood Wilder will still fight Stiverne, even though Team Stiverne claims no contract has been signed. (Most fight contracts are signed the week of the fight and Lou DiBella, the promoter of the bout, has received a signed contract from Stiverne promoter Don King that the fight is made.)

In January 2015, Wilder dominated almost every second of every round the first time he fought Stiverne (25-2-1, 21 KOs). Now, Wilder may not even fight Stiverne, the only opponent to ever go the distance with him, according to numerous outlets and sources. Stiverne, by the way, hasn’t fought since November 2015.

“What other heavyweight is doing what I do? What other heavyweight has power like me?” Wilder ranted during the press conference to announce the fight against Stiverne that may or may not happen. “I don’t have to put you out in punches in bunches. I don’t have to do that. One punch: Goodnight. I’m happy that I’ve had time to calm down and think about things. I’m happy that I’m fighting Stiverne because he’s my mandatory. I can finally get him out the way, so I’ll be a free man.

“This is the story of my life. Every situation that I’m put in, I try to be optimistic about. It’s easy to appreciate the good but, when the bad comes, some people don’t know how to manage that.

“I’m the most frustrated guy around. I don’t understand; he best are supposed to fight the best, right? I’ve always done that. I called (Wladimir) Klitschko out years ago.

“People make so many excuses for my career. The one who is actually trying to make a legacy out of their career, he’s the only one that’s not complaining. The people who don’t have to get in the ring and endure this suffering are the ones that are complaining.”

Then Wilder touched a subject that has been very pervasive in the pro sports world – racial equality. Wilder claims African-American fighters are not getting it. It’s part of the reason, he feels, he hasn’t been given his just due as a heavyweight champion.

“My mind has been in a lot of places and I spoke to a lot of people and, as heavyweight champion of the world, I’m a leader of men,” Wilder said. “They talk to me how I motivate them and how I influence them, guys that are coming straight out of prison.

“I don’t think anyone that got popped (using PEDs), that was fighting me, was a decision that made in their life because I guess their career was poopy. They wanted something to diaper the poopy. At first, when the Ortiz situation came about, I broke down. I want to prove to people out there that I am the best. I get a thrill out of proving people wrong.

“I love criticism. I’m the type of person who knows the truth and, as they say, the truth will set you free. I’m positive; my mind is positive.”

When asked why American fight fans have not supported him, as English fans have Joshua, Wilder’s spin took a unique turn.

“Americans support foreigners, instead of blacks,” Wilder said. “They don’t support blacks. If you’re any other ethnic group, they support them. I don’t know why that is.”

When Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s name was evoked, Wilder went off.

“A lot of people don’t give Floyd Mayweather his credit,” Wilder said. “Do you how many people wanted to see Floyd lose when he fought Manny Pacquiao or Conor McGregor? A lot. Even his own people went against him on that. You’re sitting and telling me they support him?

“Are you serious?

“You say records and pay-per-view, so of course you’re going to have a high demand on that because people are going to tune in to do what? To see him lose. The man doesn’t get his just due. Floyd has done a lot of things, helped communities and stuff like that. We gravitate toward the negative stuff in this country instead of the positive. It’s sad, man. It’s just sad.”





Struggling to locate a copy of THE RING Magazine? Try here or

You can order the current issue, which is on newsstands, or back issues from our subscribe page.
On the cover this month: Mikey Garcia