Deontay Wilder squashes retirement talk: 'I can’t stop right now, I must continue with my journey'
When Deontay Wilder lost the trilogy contest against Tyson Fury in one of the best fights of 2021 and one of the best heavyweight title fights in boxing history, people thought he would retire.
The former WBC heavyweight has been out of sight, out of mind since October, which only made the speculation grow. However, the "Bronze Bomber" put the hammer down on such talk Tuesday in his native Tuscaloosa, Alabama, for a ceremony to present a life-sized statue of himself.
“I can’t stop right now. I must continue with my journey,” Wilder stated. “I love you guys so much. I can’t end it like this. This journey’s not over with. I must continue my journey.”
Currently, Wilder doesn't have a fight booked. WBC and Ring titlist Tyson Fury is coming off a sixth-round knockout of Dillian Whyte in April. He's talked about possibly retiring but hasn't made an official announcement. Also, three-belt titleholder Oleksandr Usyk and former two-time unified champion Anthony Joshua are supposed to meet on July 23, but there's been no official announcement at this time of writing.
The statue of Wilder is in front of the Tuscaloosa Visitor’s Center. The 2008 Olympic bronze medalist has fought eight times in his home state, going 8-0 with eight knockouts. The moment got to Wilder when he saw the replica statue. Wilder reiterated he isn't going anywhere and not leaving the sport just yet.
“This moment of time, my goodness,” Wilder said. “In the midst of this journey, I’m being blessed. It’s not like I’m retired, and it’s been ten, twenty years. This is now that I’m getting my flowers.”