When Did Deontay Wilder Start Boxing?

Published 10/18/2021, 7:59 AM EDT
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – FEBRUARY 21: Deontay Wilder weighs in against Tyson Fury during their official weigh-in at MGM Grand Garden Arena on February 21, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)


Deontay Wilder started off late as a boxer and it was near-impossible to envision him becoming a world champion. After quitting four jobs and becoming a father at an early age, Wilder’s desperate hunt for money brought him into the boxing community.

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However, he eventually discovered his passion for boxing and is now considered one of the most treacherous punchers to have ever stepped inside in the ring.

Following his last fight for the world title, Wilder is a now multi-millionaire star of boxing. However, his entry into the sport was extremely rough. With very little money and opportunities available, Wilder laced up the boxing gloves at the age of 20 in 2005 at the Sky Boxing gym in Alabama. Jay Deas, his current trainer, was the chief person behind Wilder’s success.

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Meanwhile, Wilder’s move to the squared circle was more of an emotional cause. ‘The Bronze Bomber’ became a father to Naieya Wilder at just 19 and his daughter was born with Spina Bifida, a major disease of bones. Unable to figure out the solution, Wilder needed money, and that is when boxing came to his rescue.

Deontay Wilder – The father before a champion

In a chat with SUN TV, former WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder revealed why he took up boxing. He revealed how he was a basketball player back in the day. However, he had to look towards boxing at a very crucial stage of his life.

“I was just a guy in college, was on the basketball team. I’d do it — in terms of getting into boxing — all over if I had to for my daughter. She’s the one that got me into boxing.”

“I was willing to do whatever it took to take care of my child. I promised her that daddy will be a world champion one day and I’ll be able to support her. I made sure I could deliver that promise. She inspired me to change my profession,” said Wilder.

While boxing might not have been the first sport Wilder took, today he is one of the most successful boxers in the world. Relying on just two years of training, Deontay Wilder appeared in the Olympics of 2008 and secured a bronze medal.

It earned him the nickname of ‘The Bronze Bomber.’ Meanwhile, Wilder saw even greater success when he moved to the professional chain.

The Pro level competition

Deontay Wilder has been a WBC world heavyweight champion with an alarming resume of 42 wins, 2 losses, and 1 draw. He has attained 41 of those wins via KO and has also lost both his fights via stoppage.

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That said Tyson Fury is the only man to have beaten Deontay Wilder, that too twice. Wilder performed admirably in those fights as well as he did knock down Tyson Fury in two of the three fights. This reflects on his impeccable skill of knocking out opponents.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – NOVEMBER 23: WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder celebrates after knocking out Luis Ortiz in the seventh round of their title fight at MGM Grand Garden Arena on November 23, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images)

Furthermore, Wilder defended his world title 10 times before losing it to Tyson Fury in February 2020. Although he tried to regain the belt in an epic trilogy, ‘The Gypsy King’ defeated him to retain the title. Now, Wilder will now try to bag an immediate win to resurrect himself in the championship ride.

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Raj Sarkar

2716 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. Combining his bachelor's degree with his adoration for combat sports, he has earned a combined 3000 plus bylines over the last two years.

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