Deontay Wilder on His Olympics Journey: ‘I Was the Least Experienced Guy’

Published 02/23/2021, 10:30 AM EST
BURBANK, CALIFORNIA – NOVEMBER 18: Deontay Wilder visits “Extra” at Burbank Studios on November 18, 2019 in Burbank, California. (Photo by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images)


Despite having no strong amateur experience, Deontay Wilder has successfully become a household figure of boxing. The former heavyweight champion has sent the entire division into shock with his unprecedented run, until facing his first defeat against Tyson Fury.

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That said, Wilder is different from all the active heavyweights. He started boxing merely just to pay off the bills and then became a sensational superstar of the sport. Nicknamed ‘The Bronze Bomber’, Wilder bagged his first accolade in 2008 when he claimed the bronze medal at the Beijing Olympics.

However, it was never an easy road for him. Wilder had very minor boxing experience when he competed at the Olympics, and he recently opened up on the same. Speaking with Champside, Wilder himself claimed that he is the least experienced guy amongst all in the Olympics. However, he also revealed the transition that allowed him to reach where he is at today.

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“The fact that I was the least experienced guy at the Olympics. It was 286 guys in my weight division and I was the 286 guy out of the whole thing. And to surpass all these guys that have been to the Olympics before, these guys have over a hundred and some amateur bouts. Here I am just barely making it with my experience that I had. I was always playing catchup,” Wilder remarked.

He added, “I was always playing catchup to some of my other guys and stuff like that. Rasheed, Warren, you know. Williams, Chris Downs, we had one of my good friends Michael Hunter. That was my roommate when I first started out.”

Deontay Wilder and his Olympics journey

Wilder represented his nation US at the grandest sporting event in 2008 and had an undefeated 7-fight run. The entire world saw his power and took note of it. However, none had the idea of how great Wilder was about to become in the professional circuit.

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Meanwhile, Wilder’s Olympic run ended when he lost the semi-finals against Italy’s Clemente Russo. He departed with a bronze medal and instantly turned a professional in the same year. After that, it was nothing but glory and fame for him.

Deontay Wilder became an elite KO artist and donned the World championship (WBC) in 2015. He defended the belt successfully till 2020, but Tyson Fury was the chip on his shoulder. Nevertheless, Wilder is still an elite and is looking for a sensational return ahead.

Do you think he can become the champion again?

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Raj Sarkar

1906 articles

A senior boxing writer at EssentiallySports, Raj Sarkar is a mass media graduate who is currently pursuing his master’s degree in broadcast journalism. In addition to his current role, he has worked with the MMA team at EssentiallySports and has interviewed prominent fighters such as Ritu Phogat and 'The Red King' Rory MacDonald. He combined his bachelor's degree with his adoration for combat sports and has a combined 2000 plus bylines in MMA and boxing over the last two years.

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