A talk with hard-hitting Heavyweight contender Deontay Wilder
Historically, the heavyweight division of boxing has been seen as the backbone and glamour division of the sport.
So much so that when there is ever a lull in heavyweight action, cries of the sport’s demise inevitably surface. Not having a standout American heavyweight for literally years now really seems to be one of the nails that have been sealing the fate of the sport, as the love for the sport and the belief in its re-emergence has really taken a hit that’s been harder than that of a fighter in the ring.
Enter Deontay Wilder, who is a Bronze medal winner in the 2008 Olympic games, and holder of an impressive, 29-0; 29 KOs), professional record. In recent months, along with trainer and 1984 Olympic Gold medal winner and former world champion Mark Breland, Wilder’s reputation has been gaining momentum and notoriety, as he is being touted as a definite American heavyweight hopeful.
On Saturday, October 26, Wilder brings his brand of heavyweight punishment to Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall, when he faces Nicolai Firtha, 21-10-1; 8 KOs), as a part of a Showtime Championship Boxing triple header, headlined by Bernard “The Executioner” Hopkins’ mandatory defense of his IBF Light Heavyweight championship against Karo Murat.
I spoke to Wilder as he was preparing for his upcoming fight. He lays it down to our readers about his heavyweight intentions and what the sport can look forward to with his emergence on the heavyweight scene.
Long being a person who believed that a fighter’s star truly shines when people get to know the fighter, not just see what the fighter can do in the ring, tell us who Deontay Wilder is. Who are your influences?
Well, for those that don’t know me, Deontay Wilder is not only a great boxer, but he is a great down-to-earth person. He is a father. Really, in person, he is a loveable guy. He’s a silly guy, too, who loves to make people smile and make people happy. My inspiration has always been my daughter, Naieya, who was born with Spina Bifida. She has always been my drive, as well as all of my kids, who are my motivation and drive to do well in this sport.
The boxing world has been hearing a lot about you as of late, especially since your last couple of outings. What can the fans at Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall and the Showtime viewing audience expect to see from Deontay Wilder on October 26?
You can definitely expect a knockout, that’s for sure. But more than that, you can expect excitement and entertainment. I like to please the fans because I’m a crowd pleaser. You can expect the same that was seen in all the other fights. That’s what I’m going to continue, even after I win the belts. People, when they come to see heavyweight fights, they come to see knock outs. I have delivered that in 29 fights, and I come to deliver it again on the 26th.
Everything takes its time, but you are being seen as the heavyweight that can lead the U.S. out of its heavyweight slump. There are many who not only believe that you can, but it’s only a matter of time when you will indeed change the face of heavyweight boxing. Being conscious of these beliefs, does this create added pressure for you as you climb through those ring ropes?
For any true fight fan, the second annual All Star Boxing Legends Gala taking place this Saturday night, June 1, will definitely be the place to be. It’ll be a night when, again, a who’s who of boxing dignitaries make their way to Resorts Casino Hotel’s Ballroom to honor some of the very best that have played their part in the Atlantic City boxing scene.
Former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson is among the boxers, trainers, managers, promoters and officials scheduled to be honored and attend the All Star Boxing Legends Gala on June 2 at Resorts Casino Hotel. The event starts at 8pm and tickets are $100. Tickets are available through Resorts’ Box Office or through Ticketmaster. Tickets include the [...]
Paul “The Punisher” Williams is determined to show that he is no ordinary fighter when he once again steps back into the ring at Boardwalk Hall against the hard-hitting Erislandy Lara
Pictured above: Veteran boxing trainer Ronnie Shields (left) with writer Rob Scott The worst thing a fighter can do is take lightly and judge a book (i.e. fellow fighter) by their cover. Erislandy Lara (15-0-1, 10 KOs), who originally from Guantanamo, Cuba, but now resides in Miami, Florida, has a story that actually has many chapters to it. He and his followers have every intention on coming into Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall on Saturday, July 9, and not only add to their saga, but also become one of boxing’s best sellers. Lara takes on former two-time world champion and still highly avoided, Paul “The Punisher” Williams (39-2, 27 KOs), who resides in Aiken, South Carolina. Lara, who went from a Cuban National amateur superstar, to a Cuban defector, to a professional world boxing contender, has truly written his own story. I had the pleasure of talking to two key figures in the ongoing book of Lara when I interviewed his veteran trainer, Ronnie Shields, and longtime boxing figure Luis DeCubas, regarding their star, and what to expect when the bell rings on fight night. I’ve followed the Erislandy Lara story and seen many of his fights, but let’s face it, there are going to be...
Atlantic City's boxing days are back and Atlantic City Weekly is proud to bring our readers a brand-new column by boxing guru Rob Scott. Here is the first installment of 'Boxing Notes: In the Ring with Rob Scott.'
The Problem Is Back