Wednesday, 28 September 2022 – Deontay Wilder has disclosed that he considered retiring from boxing after suffering a devastating 11th-round KO defeat to Tyson Fury during their trilogy bout in October last year.
According to the American boxer, he needed some time away from the ring to process the back-to-back defeats in 2020 and 2021 which were the only losses of his professional career.
The Olympic bronze medalist explained that he wanted to walk away from boxing for good but changed his mind after witnessing the public’s reaction to the statue built in his honour in May 2021.
Wilder referred to himself as a ‘walking, living legend’ and insisted the ‘world really needed’ him to return to boxing as he ‘motivated’ people.
‘What really got me back to this point [was the realization], like, damn, the world really needs me,’ Wilder said on The Last Stand podcast with Brian Custer.
‘I really motivate people. Although I’ve already known [that], even more so … when I got my statue man – When I got my statue, and that set all my accomplishments in stone, you’re looking at a walking, living legend.
‘No matter what, my supporters or my haters, when all talk dies, that statue stay risen. You feel me? That statue stay there forever ’til God comes and takes it away or some type of disaster happens… to see so many people come [for the unveiling] and women and see men break down and show their vulnerable side – I love that.’
During the ceremony, Wilder told fans that he would be returning to the ring in the future as he has a ‘lot of thing to get out of the way’ before hanging up his gloves.
The Bronze Bomber said: ‘I can’t stop right here. I must continue my journey. I have to, I have to. I’m looking to resume my career for sure. I’ve got a lot of other things I’ve got to get out of the way.
‘I’m taking away from my children if I come back, because now I’m able to enjoy my life fully like I want to. I sacrificed so much to be in this position in my life, to be able to life my life like I want for the rest of my life.’
The 36-year-old American added: ‘I’ve been highly requested. So many people have told me ‘Come back, come back.’ I’d say I’m back by popular demand. And the business of boxing needs me.
‘When there’s a thriving American champion, there’s nothing like it. When there’s not, you see it’s dead. There’s a drought in [the sport]. People know the difference now.’