Ever heard of the literary and cinematic tale of the tragic mulatto? It is the narrative of the person caught between two worlds of literal white and black, and the choice between white acceptance and black guilt married to the sentence of second-class citizenry.
It is a tragic prison housed within the character that forces them to decide to love themselves despite the factors surrounding their existence or live disillusioned.
Strip away the American race dynamic and place one successful American boxing heavyweight champion that can’t seem to get what he deserves and you have the making of a tragic heavyweight story. This has nothing to do with the awe-inspiring journey that Deontay “Bronze Bomber” Wilder took to become heavyweight champion, this is about what was supposed to be promised to him once he achieved that stature.
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Remember Joe Louis? He was the original Brown Bomber that stole America’s heart during the height of World War II. Louis was America’s prizefighter and was a part of the storied narrative that this country promises all big men who fight hard and carry the red, white, and blue to greatness with their fists: reverence.
For Louis, it was the defeat of Max Schmeling in 1938. Even though he still had to enter through the back of gilded hotels, he was celebrated by all as a hero of his country.
When Cassius Clay became Muhammad Ali, he was still celebrated for his in-ring genius and ability to always be one step ahead in character and wit. The fact that he left this world an icon was an ironic fate since he inevitably was the first true Colin Kaepernick-esque figure for the world to reflect against and pick apart.
Today, there is Deontay Wilder. Alabama-born like Louis, who is outspoken like Ali and as determined to stay on top as any that has come before him. Wilder is an Olympic Bronze Medal winner and dedicated his entire career to his daughter who has spina bifida. He’s a true golden child that has brought economic prosperity to his home state, where he has fought frequently, and championed those people by not moving to a major boxing epicenter like New York City, Las Vegas or Los Angeles.
He is still in Tuscaloosa.
Uploaded by Dontae’s Boxing Nation on 2017-07-19.
Yet, the world has conspired against Wilder for no other reason than a lack of respect to the golden rule of the heavyweight championship in America: respect your champ. No laurels are placed at his feet in the arena of the media stage and his name doesn’t float freely by the population at large who seem pretty anemic to his overall rise and domination.
“I don’t know why? He doesn’t use performance-enhancing drugs, he’s charismatic, he’s good-looking, he’s approachable by the fans,” said promoter Lou DiBella. “You know I think he’s gotten a tremendous amount of undue criticism. I mean everyone wanted him to fight Povetkin and then the fight was supposed to take place in Russia and Povetkin failed a PED test and that wasn’t the only time that Deontay was scheduled to fight a guy that cheated. That’s not his fault.”
The irony is that Wilder’s newest opponent, Luis Ortiz, would be exposed for PED usage and the planned November 4th bout would be cancelled. It was not Ortiz’s first offense and in another twist of irony, it is the fight Wilder needs to be considered as great as he really is by boxing.
“The reason Deontay demanded this fight was for respect, not for the money,” said DiBella. “We’re paying step-aside money to an undeserving mandatory challenger to fight another fight. A guy that people weren’t really interested in seeing Deontay has a rematch with after Deontay beat Stiverne every round the first time. So the reason the Ortiz fight is happening is specifically because Deontay is demanding it because he wants to establish himself as the man. He wants this victory on his resume.”
To DiBella, the enigma is the media and boxing’s American promoters who have created the mystique around every other fighter except the American ones.
“I don’t think there’s necessarily a disconnect with the public but boxing’s very fractured and splintered right now. It doesn’t have a normal press core. It has bloggers and internet writers many of whom – the whole Ring Magazine crew works for Oscar de la Hoya. We have a problem in the United States in boxing which I’m not somebody that believes in being insular and ignoring that we’re a global society and that boxing is a global sport.”
“Here it seems that there’s no preference whatsoever given to American fighters. We’ve gone years and years without an American heavyweight champion. We don’t develop American fighters with the same enthusiasm that we do fighters from other countries and it is hurting the sport of boxing.”
Boxing superstar Deontay Wilder has a message for Anthony Joshua — LET’S DO THIS!!!! SUBSCRIBE — http://po.st/TMZSportsSubscribe About TMZ Sports: Some of the best stories in sports have been off the field and we’re reporting on athletes from NFL, NBA, UFC, WWE, MLB and more!
DIBella has a point. The most recent major fights have featured non-Americans fighting in America. Take McGregor fighting Mayweather and GGG vs. Canelo Alvarez. Both Alvarez, GGG and McGregor are here for paydays strictly, yet have been nurtured by the American promotional machine and spit back out like your average red, white, and blue.
Wilder can’t get a clean fight to save his life as he now is in the highlight years of his unblemished career. Instead of being in an uproar, America seems more interested in British Anthony Joshua’s training regimen on Twitter.
Deontay Wilder exposes the larger problem America has of not truly holding their own champions high. It doesn’t stop at the heavyweight level, but it is more pronounced there. Until the reverence which graced the American fighter is returned, fighters like Wilder will continue to hide in plain sight with huge jewelry adorning their waist while being weighed down by an American lack of interest.
You would have thought Wilder would have taken a knee to elicit this response, but it is just a sign of the times of the tragic heavyweight, the tragic American champion and the further exposure of the hypocrisy of American society.