Deontay Wilder Talks To His Statue But Through A Mental Health Lens Talks To Himself | Whats Next For The Bronze Bomber?

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Deontay Wilder is still in love with his bronze statue likeness in his hometown of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, which has given him life in defeat. Recently a video showing the former champ talking to his statue made the rounds on social media, but it is more profound than self-adulation.

“Hey, how you doing? Merry Christmas. Happy New Year,” Wilder said while caressing the statue. “Been doing aight? What’s good, you been holding up? That’s good. You look cold, out there. I’m going to have to send you a blanket to warm you up, but other than that, you looking good. I’m proud of you and everything you’ve done. There’s more to do though. I’ll see you soon, aight?”

Deontay Wilder Reflects On Loss

Since losing twice in back-to-back fights against Tyson Fury in 2020 and 2021, Wilder has been relatively obscure in the media. He bounced back in a definitive first-round KO over Robert Helenius in October 2022. The win was emotional for Wilder and his team, who cried during the post-fight press conference in elation at getting over a mental hump. However, in that pre-fight lead-up, Wilder explained his mental state and that of fighters in general.

 

“I have sacrificed my life for others’ entertainment.” Wilder said to FightHype ahead of the Helenius fight back in August 2022. “It takes a lot for us to get up, or train and get ourselves together. Feels months at a time to break our body down. Then get in the ring, get hit in the head. The head is not supposed to be here in the first place.

“They all talk about, it’s a lot of mental health, it’s a lot of PTSD, a lot of stuff that fighters deal with. But you know, a lot of them want to keep that toughness about themselves. Don’t want to let people know or see certain things wrong with them. We are warriors at the end of the day,” Wilder continued.

The heavyweight division has historically received the most attention in boxing, and for a few years who would be at the top of the boxing mountain was up in the air. That was before Anthony Joshua lost twice to Oleksandr Usyk and Wilder lost twice to Fury. If Usyk and Fury can come to terms for a fight, the heavyweight division will finally have an undisputed champion, as the two currently hold all the belts in the division.

Who Will Deontay Wilder Fight Next?  

Wilder has been rumored to fight Andy Ruiz or Anthony Joshua next, with Joshua being the more significant opportunity for Wilder based on his massive U.K. fanbase. Although the Ruiz fight is easier to make since both perform under the Premier Boxing Champions banner, the best fight is Wilder versus Joshua, since they both lost to the two best in the division currently.

For Wilder, the latest win, the statue, and the journey have taken their toll on a man who lived professionally as the boogeyman with a wicked right hand. But as he said to his statue, “There’s more to do though. I’ll see you soon, aight?”

That statement was just as much to himself as it was to the world.

Rhett Butler is a Boxing Writer Association of America Journalist, Play-By-Play Commentator, Combat Sports Insider, and Former Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing Promoter. The New York City native honed his skills at various news outlets including but not limited to: TIME Magazine, Money Magazine, CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports, and more. Rhett hosts the PRITTY Left Hook podcast, a polarizing combat sports insider's take featuring the world's biggest names.