American WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder is scheduled to fight Anthony Joshua this year in what would be the biggest heavyweight of 2018.
Wilder is the biggest American heavyweight boxing star in years, and is undefeated in 40 professional fights.
There’s been plenty of debate, discussion and negotiation between Wilder and Joshua – with more to come – but it looks as though we won’t need to wait too much longer for the pair to step into the ring.
Here’s everything you need to know about Deontay Wilder.
Deontay Wilder boxing record
Deontay Wilder has a 40-0 record with 39 stoppages.
The only time Wilder went the distance was in his first bout with Canadian Bermane Stiverne in 2015. Wilder won a unanimous decision at the MGM in Las Vegas.
Deontay Wilder’s next fight
Deontay Wilder has been closely linked to a fight with fellow heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua.
Joshua called out Wilder after his unanimous decision win over Joseph Parker earlier this year, but talks stalled not long afterwards.
Speculation resurfaced at the start of June when Wilder posted to social media, saying he has agreed to fight Joshua in the UK this year.
Is Deontay Wilder vs Anthony Joshua happening?
According to all the insiders, the fight is just a matter of when, not if.
Joshua’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, says he has sent Wilder’s people a contract with all the relevant information.
If everything runs smoothly – which is almost unheard of in boxing – we could be seeing Joshua and Wilder fight by the end of this year. The fight would most likely be held at Wembley, where Joshua defeated Wladimir Klitschko last year.
Where is Deontay Wilder from?
Deontay Wilder was born and raised in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
He started out in boxing in 2005 at Skyy Boxing Gym in Northport, Alabama and still has close ties to the state of his birth. So much so, that two of his last four fights have been held at Legacy Arena in Birmingham, which is about an hour down the road from Tuscaloosa.
What belt does Deontay Wilder hold?
Deontay Wilder is the WBC heavyweight champion. It’s the only world title he currently holds, with Anthony Joshua owning all the other belts after beating Parker.
Wilder won the belt with his unanimous decision win over Stiverne in 2015 and has defended it seven times, including a rematch with Stiverne, which he won via first round knockout.
You can watch the Stiverne knockout below.
Deontay Wilder vs Luis Ortiz
That was Wilder’s most recent fight and his hardest test to date.
It looked at one stage as though Cuban heavyweight Ortiz was going to upset the American, but Wilder fought back for a brave 10th round TKO win.
Many pundits believe he was behind on the scorecards at the time of the stoppage, but you can check the action for yourself below.
How tall is Deontay Wilder?
Really tall. Wilder is 201cm, which is 6ft7in. That’s tall.
Deontay Wilder knockouts
He’s got enough to choose from if you’re making a countdown list. And, let’s be honest, he’s fought a few bums along the way, so the occasional highlight reel KO was inevitable.
For my money, his best, most brutal and scary knockout came against either Siarhei Liakhovich in 2013 or Artur Szpilka in 2016.
Liakhovich was floored by a powerful right hand in the first round of their fight in Idaho five years ago. There were a few scary moments when he was left convulsing on the canvas before doctors could attend to him.
Watch it here.
Szpilka was game but overmatched in their 2016 fight in Brooklyn. The Polish heavyweight was caught with a short right while charging in and remained motionless on the canvas for at least a minute.
Watch it here.
Deontay Wilder at the Olympics
Wilder won a heavyweight bronze medal at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
Deontay Wilder – The Bronze Bomber
Wilder’s nickname is The Bronze Bomber, which is a reference to his Olympic medal and a hat-tip to legendary heavyweight fighter Joe Louis. Louis, who held the heavyweight title for 12 years, was nickamed the Brown Bomber.