Wilder in 2018
|Real name||Deontay Leshun Wilder|
|The Bronze Bomber|
|Height||6 ft 7 in (201 cm)|
|Reach||83 in (211 cm)|
|Born||October 22, 1985|
Tuscaloosa, Alabama, U.S.
|Wins by KO||41|
Deontay Leshun Wilder (; born October 22, 1985) is an American professional boxer. He held the WBC heavyweight title from 2015 to February 2020, and in doing so became the first American world heavyweight champion in nine years, which was the longest period of time in boxing history without an American heavyweight champion. As of November 2020, he is ranked as the world's second-best active heavyweight by BoxRec, third by the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, and by The Ring magazine.
Wilder had a late start to boxing, taking up the sport at 20 years of age. As an amateur, he won a bronze medal in the heavyweight division at the 2008 Olympics. This led to his nickname of "The Bronze Bomber", which Wilder coined after Joe Louis, who was known by the nickname of "The Brown Bomber".
Wilder is particularly known for his formidable punching power, having knocked out every opponent he has defeated. His knockout-to-win percentage stands at 98%, with 20 knockouts in the first round. He is a two-time winner of the Premier Boxing Champions Knockout of the Year award, in 2016 and 2017, and the winner of the Ring magazine Knockout of the Year award in 2019.
Wilder started boxing in October 2005, when he entered Skyy Boxing Gym in Northport, Alabama, and began training under Jay Deas. Wilder was 20 at that time.
At the Golden Gloves, he defeated highly touted cadet world champion Isiah Thomas, a southpaw from Detroit, and David Thompson, of Brooklyn, in the finals. At the U.S. championship he defeated Quantis Graves and won the final 31-15 over southpaw James Zimmerman of San Jose, California.
At the Olympic trials, he beat Graves twice more and won the Olympic trials in only 21 bouts. Early in 2008 he scored a career-best win by edging out world championship silver medalist and future Olympic champion Rakhim Chakhiyev in Russia. He qualified for the Olympics by beating Deivis Julio 6:5 Jorge Quinones from Ecuador on double countback and Brazilian Rafael Lima 6:5 at the qualifier.
Wilder then competed at heavyweight in the 2008 Olympics, defeating Abdelaziz Touilbini of Algeria and Mohamed Arjaoui of Morocco before losing to Clemente Russo of Italy in the semi-final to earn a bronze medal.
Wilder made his professional debut at the age of 23 on November 15, 2008, at the Vanderbilt University Memorial Gymnasium in Nashville, Tennessee. He faced Ethan Cox (2-2-1), winning by second-round technical knockout (TKO) after knocking Cox down three times. Wilder fought seven times in 2009, winning all the fights in round one. By October 2012, Wilder racked up a 25-fight win streak, winning all by knockout and all within four rounds. Some notable stoppages included former WBA heavyweight title challenger Owen Beck (27-10, 20 KOs), former WBO light heavyweight title challenger DeAndrey Abron (15-6, 10 KOs) and former WBO heavyweight challenger Damon Reed (46-15, 32 KOs).
Wilder won his first title in professional boxing when he knocked out 37-year-old Kelvin Price (13-0, 6 KOs) at the Memorial Sports Arena in Los Angeles, on December 15, 2012. The fight was originally slated to take place in August 2012. Wilder fought patiently through the first two rounds and mostly measured Price. The fight ended when a right hand from Wilder caught Price on the jaw and sent him back into the ropes and down. He attempted to get to his feet, but struggled which led referee Ray Corona to wave an end to the bout. Wilder claimed the vacant WBC Continental Americas heavyweight title, which he went on to successfully defend twice.
On April 3, 2013, Golden Boy Promotions announced that Wilder would fight former European heavyweight champion and 2000 Olympic gold medalist Audley Harrison (31-6, 23 KOs) at the Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield, his UK debut, on April 27. Harrison was coming into this fight looking to rebuild after winning the prizefighter heavyweight tournament two months earlier. The card, which was being shown live on Showtime in USA, was headlined by Amir Khan's return in the UK against Julio Díaz. Harrison stated that he would retire if he lost. Wilder knocked out Harrison in round one. Wilder found an opening 49 seconds into the opening round and caught Harrison with a big right hand that rocked him back into the ropes. A follow-up barrage from Wilder sent Harrison into the corner, crumpling onto the floor. Harrison used the ropes to get to his feet at the count of eight, but referee Terry O'Connor called off the bout. The official time of stoppage was 1:22 of the first round. Four days after the fight, Harrison announced his retirement at the age of 41 years.
On May 9, Frank Warren announced a card that would take place at the Wembley Arena in London on June 15, 2013, which would feature Wilder and British boxer Derek Chisora as the main event. Prior to the announcement, Golden Boy and Wilder's camp stated there was no deal in place. The fight fell through after Wilder was arrested in May following a domestic assault in Las Vegas, Nevada. Days later, Wilder signed Al Haymon as his new advisor.
In June, Golden Boy announced Wilder would main event a triple header of a Showtime card at the Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, California against former WBO heavyweight champion Siarhei Liakhovich (25-5, 16 KOs) on August 9, 2013 in a ten-round bout. Liakhovich would fight for the first time in nearly a year and half. Wilder knocked Liakhovich out in the first round. Wilder caught Liakhovich with a big right hand; while Liakhovich was backed against the ropes, he went down heavily and began twitching. The referee waved an end to the bout without beginning a count. Liakhovich was kept down for some time in the ring, before being helped to a stool. Days after the fight, Liakhovich filed a protest to change the outcome as 'no contest' citing that Wilder hit him with illegal punches. Liakhovich claimed he was punched behind the ear and neck area.
Two months later in October, Wilder knocked out Nicolai Firtha (21-10-1, 8 KOs) in four rounds to maintain his knockout streak. Prior to the stoppage, Firtha was dropped twice in the opening round. In February 2014 it was announced that Wilder would fight 33 year old Malik Scott (36-1-1, 13 KOs) in an eliminator for the WBC heavyweight title. The fight took place on the undercard of Garcia-Herrera at the Coliseo Ruben Rodriguez in Puerto Rico on March 15. When the fight was first announced, Wilder was #3 in the WBC ratings while Scott was #26. Wilder knocked out Scott at 1:36 of the first round. Wilder started off with slow jabs and the knockout blow appeared to be a straight right hand, which many believe did not connect clearly. There was an instant reaction from the crowd and on social media regarding how the fight ended. Scott was said to be unhappy about reports that he took a dive and congratulated Wilder. This set Wilder up as mandatory challenger for the WBC heavyweight title held by new champion Bermane Stiverne, who had defeated Chris Arreola for the title vacated by the retiring Vitali Klitschko.
In August 2014, Wilder fought journeyman and former Prizefighter finalist Jason Gavern (25-16-4, 11 KOs) in a 10-round bout. The fight took place at the StubHub Center in Carson, California on the undercard of the IBF welterweight fight between Shawn Porter and Kell Brook fight. Gavern was knocked down in rounds three and four. His corner threw in the towel after round four giving Wilder another stoppage victory.
On January 17, 2015, billed as "Return to Glory", Wilder fought Stiverne at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada for the WBC heavyweight title. Wilder became the first American heavyweight world champion since Hasim Rahman by defeating Stiverne by a unanimous decision after twelve rounds. The judges scored it 118-109, 119-108, and 120-107. Stiverne landed 110 of 327 punches (34%) with Wilder landing 227 of 621 punches (37%). Wilder had some big rounds, particularly rounds two and seven, where he threw a barrage of power shots. Wilder showed that he could go twelve rounds and utilized his jab throughout. This was the first real proof to critics that Wilder could go the distance and could box, as up to that point he had finished all opponents inside the distance. After the fight, Wilder dedicated his win to his disabled daughter, and to his boxing hero Muhammad Ali, who had turned 73 years old that same day. The fight averaged 1.24 million viewers, peaking at 1.34 million on Showtime. According to the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC), Wilder earned $1 million and Stiverne received $910,000. Shortly after the fight, Wilder cut his relationship with Golden Boy Promotions and Al Haymon became his new manager.
On May 8, 2015, Wilder announced that he would make his first defense in his home state of Alabama, which would be the first heavyweight title fight held in the state. Wilder last fought in Alabama in 2012. Showtime confirmed they would televise the bout live on June 13 at Bartow Arena, Birmingham, Alabama. Shortly after, WBC #14 Eric Molina (23-2, 17 KOs) was announced as Wilder's opponent. After receiving some backlash for choosing Molina as his first defense, Wilder claimed there were other options, but their asking prices were too high. Molina was aiming to become the first Mexican-American world heavyweight champion in history. A sold-out crowd of 9,347 was announced. Wilder dominated, knocking down Molina near the end of round four, twice in the fifth, and knocking him out onto his back in the ninth round. Wilder showed respect for Molina after the bout, stating "I was really surprised he kept coming and hanging in there. A lot of people said he wouldn't even be around, he wouldn't last. There were a lot of doubters, but he showed a lot of heart, and I needed that kind of guy to fight here in Alabama." Wilder was ahead on all three judges' scorecards at the time of stoppage 90-77, 89-78, and 89-78. According to CompuBox Punch stats, Wilder landed 141 of 303 thrown (47%) whilst Molina landed just 49 of 188 (26%). The fight aired on Showtime and averaged 678,000 viewers. Wilder earned $1.4 million for the fight compared to Molina, who received a $250,000 purse.
In August 2015, it was announced that Wilder would make his second defense against WBC #12 Johann Duhaupas (32-2, 20 KOs) on September 26 at the Legacy Arena, Alabama. In front of a hometown crowd of 8,471 in attendance, Wilder beat Duhaupas by TKO in the eleventh round. Duhaupas, who was battered and bloodied, claimed he still had plenty of fight left when referee Jack Reiss waved off his brave challenge. Duhaupas had never been stopped before in his career inside the distance. It was a very one sided fight -- after taking punishment in round seven, referee Jack Reiss went over to Duhaupas' corner telling him he would need to do more or he would stop the fight. Wilder was ahead 100-90, 99-90, and 99-91 on judges' scorecards at the time of stoppage, having landed 326 of 587 punches thrown (56%) whilst Duhaupas landed 98 of 332 (30%). In the post fight, Wilder praised Duhaupas' toughness, saying "We knew he was tough. We knew he was mentally tough. We knew he was going to come. That's why you can't criticize nobody you don't know. The most scariest people are the ones you don't know." For the fight, Wilder made $1.4 million and Duhaupas earned a $140,000 purse. The fight was the main event of Premier Boxing Champions on NBC and averaged 2.2 million viewers, peaking at 3 million viewers.
In December 2015, Showtime confirmed that terms had been agreed for Wilder to defend his WBC title against Polish boxer Artur Szpilka (20-1, 15 KOs) on January 16, 2016, at the Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York, where the winner would be scheduled to fight WBC mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin. A crowd of 12,668 mostly pro-Polish fans was announced. Szpilka looked very strong as the bout began, and won the first three rounds with his awkward southpaw stance, rapid foot movement, and talent for slipping punches. Szpilka made Wilder appear wild with his punches, as Wilder missed 175 punches thrown at Szpilka, mostly head punches. Entering round nine, Szpilka, aware from the ring commentators he could no longer win the fight on the cards, changed strategy and took a gamble. Going to the inside, Szpilka swung for the rafters, but Wilder read Szpilka and connected first with a powerful right hand to the face. Szpilka fell to the canvas, and his head jerked backwards in a reflex motion, abruptly ending the competitive contest and sending the ringside physicians and emergency medical personnel immediately into the ring. Wilder reportedly earned a career-high $1.5 million compared to Szpilka who had a $250,000 purse. The fight averaged 500,000 viewers and peaked at 623,000 viewers.
After the fight, newly crowned heavyweight champion Tyson Fury entered the ring going face-to-face in a heated verbal exchange with Wilder, calling him out. In the post fight press conference, Wilder rated his performance at 5/10. Wilder was not in a celebratory mood and said his concerns for Szpilka meant he was not in the mood for the confrontation with Fury. Wilder explained "We risk our lives in there for your entertainment. I want to knock my opponents out, but not hurt them. I want them to be able to go home to their family." Szpilka regained consciousness before leaving the ring on a stretcher, and recovered. The knockout was voted "Knockout of The Year" by Premier Boxing Champions.
Wilder was due to make the fourth defense of his WBC heavyweight title against former WBA (Regular) champion and mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin (30-1, 22 KOs) on May 21, 2016 at the Megasport Arena in Moscow, Russia. Povetkin was considered by many to be Wilder's toughest opponent to date, and was on a four-fight knockout streak since suffering his only defeat to Wladimir Klitschko in late 2013. Wilder did not seem to be worried by the defense and saw this as a big name in the heavyweight division that he could add to his legacy, saying "Going to Russia is going to be nothing for me, I'm going to treat it like it's the U.S. because at the end of the day, it's one man, one ring. When I knock him out and come back, it's going to bring my legacy even bigger than it is now." He also added, "I think this is going to be an easier fight than Stiverne, I really believe that. To be proven wrong, we're going to find out." World of Boxing promoter Andrey Ryabinsky won the rights for the fight with a winning purse bid of $7.15 million, higher than the $5,1 million bid from Lou DiBella. Due to the 70-30 split, Wilder was looking at a minimum $4,504,500, a career-high payday.
However, a week before the fight on May 14, it was reported that Povetkin had tested positive for the banned substance meldonium. Promoter Andrei Ryabinsky added that Povetkin did take meldonium in 2015, but stopped before it was banned, and only "leftover traces of meldonium at a very low concentration (70 nanograms)" were found in a blood sample given by the 36-year-old last month. Hours after, Wilder and his team skipped their flight to Moscow; the WBC, having little choice what with the titleholder preparing to return home, postponed the fight. Jay Deas, Wilder's manager and trainer, said the fight is off as did promoter Lou DiBella. Andrey Ryabinskiy, promoter for Povetkin, claimed the fight would take place at a later date. Wilder claimed he is still interested in fighting and beating Povetkin in the future, as this was a fight he had trained hard for and was hoping to make a statement against an elite heavyweight. On February 14, 2017, Wilder won $7 million plus legal fees after taxes, in court, over the cancellation of the fight.
Following Wilder's return to the US, on May 26, former two-time world title challenger Chris Arreola (36-4-1-2, 31 KOs) became the front runner to challenge Wilder. At the time, Arreola was not ranked by the WBC because he had tested positive for marijuana after his fight against Travis Kauffman. His 90-day suspension ended in March 2016 and was likely to re-enter the WBC rankings. By June 13, the fight was confirmed and would take place on July 16, 2016 at the Legacy Arena, Birmingham, Alabama. For the fight, Wilder wore white trunks with black trim, featuring a portrait of his personal idol and the late heavyweight boxing legend Muhammad Ali who had died recently. The attendance at the arena was announced 11,974. Wilder dominated the entire fight with his sharp jab, which caused severe swelling to Arreola's left eye. In the fourth round, Wilder connected with a heavy right cross that knocked Arreola down. After eight rounds, Arreola's cornermen informed the referee to stop the contest. After the fight, Wilder stated he had broken his right hand and torn his biceps during the fight. Wilder was ahead 80-71, 80-71, and 79-72 on the scorecards at the time of stoppage. According to CompuBox statistics, Wilder landed 152 of 346 punches (44 percent), and Arreola landed 52 of 188 (28 percent). For the fight, Wilder earned $1.4 million to $150,000 which was received by Arreola. The fight averaged 1.8 million viewers on FOX and peaked at 2.54 million viewers, with the whole telecast averaging 1.45 million viewers.
According to promoter Lou DiBella, Wilder spent most of the night at UAB Hospital. He would be back at the hospital soon, likely for two surgeries, one to repair each injury. This ruled him out for the remainder of 2016. "Deontay is definitely out for the remainder of the year, but we will know more in the next few days," DiBella said.
Wilder announced in November that he had fully recovered and was back in training following surgery. His return fight was scheduled to be in early 2017. In December, Peter Fury announced there were active talks to get Hughie Fury a world title fight against Wilder for the first quarter of 2017. Fury would not be considered as a voluntary due to being ranked at number 26 by the WBC, but Peter hoped Fury would be bumped into the top 15 after the WBC convention in December.
On December 21, 2016, according to Wilder's manager Jay Deas, there were advance talks for a fight to take place on February 25, 2017, at the Legacy Arena in Alabama against 29-year-old two-time Polish heavyweight champion and former world title challenger Andrzej Wawrzyk (33-1, 19 KOs). Wawrzyk was on a six-fight knockout streak, with a win in his most recent fight over veteran Albert Sosnowski, since his only loss to Alexander Povetkin, inside the distance in May 2013. Terms were agreed to a day later as the date and venue were confirmed on December 29. After announcing Wawrzyk as his opponent, Wilder received criticism from fellow boxers, boxing experts and fans for choosing "an easy fight", having yet another voluntary defense and not fighting a top-level heavyweight. On December 29, Wilder spoke about the criticism, not believing Wawrzyk should be written off, stating, "I don't believe 'You're going to suck because I don't know you', that's just the ignorance of your average boxing fan ... I wish fans would stop criticizing fighters because it takes a lot to get in the ring." Wilder used Manny Pacquiao as an example for when he was little known.
On January 25, 2017, it was reported that Wawrzyk had failed a drug test, ruling him out of the fight. With a month to go until the fight, Wilder was determined that he would find a replacement to fight him on short notice and not postpone the fight card.Luis Ortiz put himself forward for the fight only to be shot down due to him failing drug tests in the past.Tyson Fury also put himself forward. A day later it was reported that 35-year-old Gerald Washington (18-0-1, 12 KOs) was in the lead of landing the world title fight. It was announced on January 30, 2017, that Washington would face Wilder on February 25.
In front of a hometown crowd of 12,346, Wilder won by TKO in round five. Washington started off strong with power punches as Wilder moved around with jabs. Midway through the fifth, Wilder got Washington against the ropes and landed a combination of power shots, the last shot being a left to the head of Washington, dropping him backwards against the ropes. Washington recovered quickly on unsteady legs. The fight resumed, and Wilder unloaded heavy blows to Washington's head, eventually leading referee Michael Griffin to halt the fight at 1 minute and 45 seconds of the round. Wilder credited his patience in the post-fight interview, "I knew he was going to come in excited to fight for a world title. I just kept calm and found my rhythm. I knew he was going to tire out, and when he did, I took advantage. It was all about timing. I'm very smart in the ring when it comes to using different tactics." At the time of stoppage, one judge had the fight 39-37 for Wilder, whilst the remaining two judges had the fight 38-38 after four rounds. Washington earned $250,000 from the fight while Wilder earned $900,000. CompuBox Stats showed that Wilder landed 33 of 113 punches thrown (29%) and Washington connected with 30 of his 98 thrown (31%). The fight was televised on Fox in the US and was watched by an average audience of 1.76 million viewers, peaking at 1.86 million. The bout was the most watched boxing match in the United States for 2017, until the Thurman-Garcia unification fight drew 3.74 million on March 4.
Following the fight, there was an altercation between Wilder and Dominic Breazeale, who had knocked out Izuagbe Ugonoh on the undercard. Breazeale claimed that Wilder and his entourage attacked him in front of his wife at the Westin Birmingham hotel. This came after Breazeale supposedly had a fracas with Wilder's younger brother, Marsellos, at ringside during Wilder's fight.
On February 27, 2017, the WBC ordered Wilder to fight mandatory challenger Bermane Stiverne, with negotiations to begin immediately. On July 18, 2017, it was reported that a deal was being negotiated for Wilder to make his sixth defense of his WBC title against heavyweight contender Luis Ortiz (27-0, 23 KOs, 2 NC). Wilder's promoter Lou DiBella, had put the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on hold for October 14 and November 4, 2017. According to sources, Don King, promoter of Bermane Stiverne, mandatory challenger for Wilder, had reported to be working out a step-a-side fee from Wilder and Ortiz's advisor Al Haymon. Stiverne told Boxing Scene that Don King had not been given any permission to negotiate a step-a-side fee and he would work with his management team to ensure he challenges for the WBC title in his next fight. It was reported by VADA, who oversees the WBC Clean Boxing Programme, that Stiverne missed a drug test. The WBC treated this as failing a drug test. WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman worked on a deal to finalise Wilder vs. Ortiz for November 4, 2017. According to TheRing.tv, Stiverne agreed a mid six-figure payday to allow the fight to take place. On September 12, it was reported by Showtime that the fight was a done deal, awaiting official announcement for the fight to take place on November 4 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Showtime revealed the card would include Daniel Jacobs as chief support. On September 18, the fight was made official pending the official press conference, which would take place the next day.ESPN was advised that Stiverne would fight Breazeale on the undercard in a title eliminator. It was reported on September 29, Ortiz had failed a drugs test. It was believed that the drugs in question were diuretics chlorothaizide and hydrochlorothiazide, which are used to treat high blood pressure but also can be used as masking agents for performance-enhancing drug use. A urine sample was taken on September 22 in Miami. Ortiz never informed VADA that he had been on medication.
On October 4, the WBC withdrew its sanction on the Wilder vs. Ortiz fight and ordered Wilder to fight mandatory Stiverne (25-2-1, 21 KOs). The next day, Showtime announced the fight. At the press conference, Wilder claimed that he was happy to be getting Stiverne out of the way. Stiverne officially signed the contract on October 17, his managers Josh Dubin and James Prince confirmed. Stiverne weighed 254¾ pounds on the scales, 13 pounds more than he weighed in the first fight and 34 pounds more than Wilder, who came in at 220¾ pounds. It was revealed that Wilder would earn a purse of $1.4 million and Stiverne would take home $506,250 as mandatory.
On fight night, in front of 10,924, Wilder retained his WBC title with a commanding first-round knockout. Wilder knocked Stiverne down three times before referee Arthur Mercante stopped the fight at 2:59 of the round. Wilder started the fight using his jab to keep Stiverne at distance. A right hand put Stiverne down for the first knockdown. As soon as the fight resumed, Wilder landed another right hand, putting Stiverne down a second time. The final knockdown saw Stiverne against the ropes, when Wilder connected with another right, followed by a left hook to the head. At this point, with Stiverne defenseless, the fight was stopped. In the post fight interview, Wilder said, "You have to give props to Stiverne for getting in the ring. It takes a lot of courage and it takes a lot of pride to step in the ring with someone like me. We do what we have to do in the ring and at least he stepped up. He was a clean fighter." When asked about a future fight with Anthony Joshua, he said, "I've been waiting on that fight for a long time now. I declare war upon you. Do you accept my challenge? I've been waiting for a long time. I know I'm the champion. I know I'm the best. Are you up for the test?" With the win, Wilder had now knocked out every opponent he had fought. CompuBox Stats showed that Stiverne threw only 2 jabs and 2 power shots, not landing any. Wilder landed 15 of his 39 punches thrown (38%). The fight drew an average of 824,000 viewers and peaked at 887,000 viewers on Showtime. This was slightly less than the first fight, which took place in January 2015.
Luis Ortiz made his return to the ring after the failed drugs test by knocking out journeyman Daniel Martz on December 8. Wilder was sat ringside on commentary for the fight. After the fight, Ortiz called out Wilder, who then stepped into the ring and said to Ortiz, "I guarantee you, you'll have the fight." On December 19, negotiations resumed between Wilder and Ortiz, with a potential fight for Wilder's WBC heavyweight title to take place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on March 3, 2018. According to RingTV on December 30, an agreement had been reached. Terms were agreed on January 12 and the fight was officially announced on January 23. Wilder weighed his lowest since turning professional in 2006, at 214 pounds. Ortiz came in at 241¼ pounds.
Wilder overcame difficulty and knocked Ortiz out in round ten to retain his WBC title in front of a crowd of 14,069. Both boxers started the fight cautious with Wilder throwing the jab, however Ortiz seemed to do more in the opening four rounds throwing combinations. Wilder took control in round five, knocking Ortiz down once. Wilder was hurt badly in round seven by a left hand from Ortiz. Wilder was then trapped on the ropes taking head and body shots from Ortiz. Referee David Fields kept a close eye on the Wilder and appeared to be close to stopping the fight, but Wilder survived the round. Despite Ortiz not managing to drop Wilder in round seven, all three judges scored the round 10-8 for Ortiz. Wilder used rounds eight and nine to rest up and managed to avoid any punishment. Wilder hurt Ortiz with a right hand at the end of round nine. Wilder then unloaded on Ortiz, who at this point looked tired, in round ten in dropping him twice before the match was halted by David Fields. The official time of the stoppage was at 2:05 of round ten.
At the time of stoppage, all three judges had their scorecards 85-84 in favor of Wilder. After the fight, Wilder spoke about his win and praised Ortiz, "'King Kong' ain't got nothing on me. A true champion always finds a way to come back, and that's what I did tonight. Luis Ortiz is definitely a crafty guy. He put up a great fight. We knew we had to wear him down. I showed everyone I can take a punch. When Ortiz leaves tonight, he can hold his head high. He gave the fans a hell of a fight." Ortiz also gave his thoughts on the fight. Speaking through a translator, he said, "I feel fine. I did receive a right hand, but I'm OK. I was listening to the directions that my corner was giving me. In this sport, any punch can end a fight. It was a great fight and I performed well." According to CompuBox Stats, Wilder landed 98 of 346 punches thrown (28%) and Ortiz landed 87 of his 363 thrown (24%). For the fight, Wilder earned a career-high $2.1 million and Ortiz received a $500,000 purse. The event was Barclays Center's second-biggest boxing crowd after Thurman vs. García, which was attended by 16,533 in March 2017. The fight averaged 1.1 million viewers and peaked at 1.2 million on Showtime. The last time Showtime did over 1 million viewers was in 2015 when Wilder defeated Stiverne for the WBC title.
From April until the end of June 2018, both camps of Joshua and Wilder were in talks around a heavyweight unification fight. The main hurdles were purse split, date and venue. At one point Wilder had agreed to fight Joshua in the UK, however there were confusions in the contracts that were being sent back and forth. At the same time, Eddie Hearn was working a deal out for Joshua to fight WBA mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin (34-1, 24 KOs). Negotiations took a turn on June 26 when the WBA gave Joshua's camp 24 hours to finalize a deal with Povetkin. With Joshua closer to fighting Povetkin in September 2018, Hearn stated the Joshua-Wilder fight would still take place in April 2019 at Wembley Stadium. Hearn later explained that the WBA would have granted an exemption, had Wilder signed a deal to fight Joshua. On July 16, Joshua vs. Povetkin was announced for September 2018.
On July 30, it was reported that there were ongoing negotiations for a fight to take place in either November or December 2018 between former unified heavyweight world champion Tyson Fury (27-0, 19 KOs) and Wilder. On July 31, Fury stated the fight against Wilder was 99% a done deal, with only a location and date to be confirmed. Fury also had to come through in his bout against Francesco Pianeta on August 18. Wilder was scheduled to be in Belfast to further promote the fight. Fury won the bout via a points decision. During the post-fight interviews, promoter Warren confirmed the Fury vs. Wilder fight was on. The fight would take place in either Las Vegas or New York in November 2018. The fight would be aired on PPV in the United States on Showtime and in the UK on BT Sports Box Office. Talking about how the fight came together, Fury said, "We have two men who will fight anyone. This man has been trying to make a fight with another chump. They called, I answered. I said: 'Send me the contract.' They sent it. I said 'yes'." Warren later told BBC Radio 5 live, "[It's a] 50-50 [purse split], quick and smooth negotiations. He was the world heavyweight champion. He's undefeated. [Wilder and his team] understand that. All of the terms are agreed." By the end of August, contracts for the fight to take place had been signed. On September 22, both fighters confirmed they had signed the contract and the fight would take place on December 1, 2018. According to the California State Athletic Commission, Wilder would earn a guaranteed base purse of $4 million and Fury would take home a guaranteed purse of $3 million. Despite Frank Warren's original claim that the revenue would be split 50-50, it was revealed that Wilder could make $14 million (£10.94 million) and Fury would earn around $10.25 million (£8 million). Both boxers would see this increase to their base purses after receiving their percentages from pay-per-view revenue. The weigh-in took place on November 30, on a made platform outside the Los Angeles Convention Center. Fury stepped on the scale first and weighed in at 256½ pounds, his lightest since his comeback following his lay off. The weight was only 2 pounds less than he weighed in August 2018 against Francisco Pianeta, however, he looked more slim and lean. Wilder was next to step on and came in at 212½ pounds, his lowest since his debut in 2008 when he weighed 207¼ pounds. For his last bout, Wilder weighed 214 pounds, however, it was cited that Wilder suffered from an illness during his training camp.
In front of a crowd of 17,698 at the Staples Center, Wilder and Fury fought a twelve-round split decision draw, meaning Wilder retained his WBC title. Mexican judge Alejandro Rochin scored the fight 115-111 for Wilder, Canadian judge Robert Tapper had it 114-112 for Fury and British judge Phil Edwards scored it a 113-113 draw. The crowd booed at the decision with many believing Fury did enough to dethrone Wilder. Fury, using his unorthodox stance, spent much of the fight using upper and lower-body movement to avoid Wilder's big shots and stay out of range. There was not much action in round one as both boxers used the round to feel each other out. Wilder tried to trap Fury into the corner, but Fury made Wilder miss most of his big swings. In round four, Wilder bloodied Fury's nose with his stiff jabs, but was unable to follow up on the attacks. In round six, Fury switched to southpaw stance and had success backing Wilder against the ropes and at the same time stayed cautious of Wilder's power. In round seven, after trading jabs, which saw Fury come out on top, Fury landed a counter right hand, then quickly tied Wilder up before he could throw anything back. Round eight saw back and forth action with both trying to land. Wilder threw a lot of power shots which Fury mostly evaded. In round nine, Wilder dropped Fury with a short left hook followed by an overhand right. Fury beat referee Jack Reiss' count and survived the round. Having expended a lot of energy trying to finish Fury in round nine, Wilder looked fatigued in round ten. This came to as an advantage for Fury as he landed two right hands. Fury also took advantage in round eleven, landing enough shots and avoided anything Wilder could throw. In round twelve, Wilder landed a right-left combination which put Fury down hard on his back. The crowd, commentary team and Wilder believed the fight was over. Reiss looked at Fury on the canvas and began giving him a count. To everyone's surprise, Fury beat the count. Reiss made Fury walk towards him and called for the action to continue. Wilder, fatigued again, was unable to land another power shot and Fury landed some right hands to finish the round and the fight on his feet. Both boxers embraced in a hug after the final bell sounded.
According to CompuBox statistics, Wilder landed 71 punches of 430 thrown (17%), and Fury landed 84 of his 327 thrown (26%). Wilder was much less accurate in this fight than he usually had been in previous fights. Fury out-landed Wilder in nine out of the twelve rounds. Both Wilder and Fury only landed double digits in four separate rounds. After the fight, both men gave in-ring interviews. Wilder stated, "I think with the two knockdowns, I definitely won the fight. We poured our hearts out tonight. We're both warriors. I rushed my punches. I didn't sit still. I was too hesitant. I started overthrowing the right hand, and I just couldn't adjust. I was rushing my punches. That's something I usually don't do." Fury said, "We're on away soil. I got knocked down twice, but I still believe I won that fight. I'm being a total professional here. God bless America. The 'Gypsy King' has returned. That man is a fearsome puncher, and I was able to avoid that. The world knows I won the fight. I hope I did you all proud after nearly three years out of the ring. I showed good heart to get up. I came here tonight, and I fought my heart out." Wilder and Fury both claimed to be the best heavyweights in the world and both called out unified world champion Anthony Joshua. Fury shouted, "Chicken! Chicken! Joshua, where are you?" Wilder then agreed to state the two best heavyweights got into the ring and fought.
The event was both a critical and a commercial success. The fight reportedly sold approximately 350,000 pay-per-view buys on Showtime in the United States, grossing around $30 million, making it the most lucrative heavyweight fight in the country since John Ruiz vs. Roy Jones Jr. in 2003. Showtime's delayed broadcast a week later drew an average 488,000 viewers and peaked at 590,000 viewers.
On the evening of May 18, 2019, Wilder defended his WBC heavyweight title against Dominic Breazeale via knockout in the first round. Wilder caught him with a powerful right which sent Breazeale flat on his back and unable to continue with the referee waving off the contest after reaching the ten count.
In a rematch of their 2018 fight, Wilder faced Ortiz again on November 23, 2019, winning by seventh-round knockout to retain his WBC heavyweight title after being behind on all three of the judges' scorecards.
His rematch with Ortiz had been the sixth time Wilder had fought a boxer who was ranked in the global heavyweight top ten by BoxRec within a year of the bout. The others were Malik Scott (KO 1), Bermane Stiverne (UD 15), Luis Ortiz in their first match (TKO 10), Tyson Fury (SD 15), and Dominic Breazeale (KO 1).
On November 27, 2019, it was announced that Wilder would face Tyson Fury on February 22, 2020, in a rematch of their 2018 bout which resulted in a draw. Wilder lost the fight via seventh-round TKO, losing the WBC heavyweight title in the process. According to CompuBox, Fury landed 82 of his 267 total punches (31%), including 58 out of 160 power punches (36%). Wilder landed 34 of his 141 total punches (24%), including 18 out of 55 power punches (33%).
Wilder has 8 children. Wilder's first child, a daughter with ex-girlfriend Helen Duncan, was born in 2005 with spina bifida. Wilder also has two other daughters and one son with Jessica Scales-Wilder, whom he married in 2009 and later divorced. Wilder is currently engaged to and has a child with Telli Swift  and has been featured on the reality television show, WAGS Atlanta.
Wilder graduated from Tuscaloosa Central High School in 2004 and dreamed of playing football (wide receiver) or basketball (forward) for his hometown Alabama Crimson Tide, but the birth of his oldest daughter and poor grades caused him to attend nearby Shelton State Community College and to focus on a boxing career. Wilder later revealed that during this time, he struggled with depression and had briefly contemplated suicide via gunshot. When reflecting on the incident, he stated "You don't think about what effect it would cause for your family, your daughter, your kids and so forth and so on... In that state of mind, you just become selfish. You think of the inner pain and the outer pain that you're feeling right at that very moment in time."
|44 fights||42 wins||1 loss|
|44||Loss||42-1-1||Tyson Fury||TKO||7 (12), 1:39||Feb 22, 2020||MGM Grand Garden Arena, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.||Lost WBC heavyweight title;|
For vacant The Ring heavyweight title
|43||Win||42-0-1||Luis Ortiz||KO||7 (12), 2:51||Nov 23, 2019||MGM Grand Garden Arena, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.||Retained WBC heavyweight title|
|42||Win||41-0-1||Dominic Breazeale||KO||1 (12), 2:17||May 18, 2019||Barclays Center, New York City, New York, U.S.||Retained WBC heavyweight title|
|41||Draw||Tyson Fury||SD||12||Dec 1, 2018||Staples Center, Los Angeles, California, U.S.||Retained WBC heavyweight title|
|40||Win||40-0||Luis Ortiz||TKO||10 (12), 2:05||Mar 3, 2018||Barclays Center, New York City, New York, U.S.||Retained WBC heavyweight title|
|39||Win||39-0||Bermane Stiverne||KO||1 (12), 2:59||Nov 4, 2017||Barclays Center, New York City, New York, U.S.||Retained WBC heavyweight title|
|38||Win||38-0||Gerald Washington||TKO||5 (12), 1:45||Feb 25, 2017||Legacy Arena, Birmingham, Alabama, U.S.||Retained WBC heavyweight title|
|37||Win||37-0||Chris Arreola||RTD||8 (12), 3:00||Jul 16, 2016||Legacy Arena, Birmingham, Alabama, U.S.||Retained WBC heavyweight title|
|36||Win||36-0||Artur Szpilka||KO||9 (12), 2:24||Jan 16, 2016||Barclays Center, New York City, New York, U.S.||Retained WBC heavyweight title|
|35||Win||35-0||Johann Duhaupas||TKO||11 (12), 0:55||Sep 26, 2015||Legacy Arena, Birmingham, Alabama, U.S.||Retained WBC heavyweight title|
|34||Win||34-0||Éric Molina||KO||9 (12), 1:03||Jun 13, 2015||Bartow Arena, Birmingham, Alabama, U.S.||Retained WBC heavyweight title|
|33||Win||33-0||Bermane Stiverne||UD||12||Jan 17, 2015||MGM Grand Garden Arena, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.||Won WBC heavyweight title|
|32||Win||32-0||Jason Gavern||RTD||4 (10), 3:00||Aug 16, 2014||StubHub Center, Carson, California, U.S.|
|31||Win||31-0||Malik Scott||KO||1 (12), 1:36||Mar 15, 2014||Coliseo Rubén Rodríguez, Bayamón, Puerto Rico|
|30||Win||30-0||Nicolai Firtha||KO||4 (10), 1:26||Oct 26, 2013||Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.||Retained WBC Continental Americas heavyweight title|
|29||Win||29-0||Siarhei Liakhovich||KO||1 (10), 1:43||Aug 9, 2013||Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, Indio, California, U.S.||Retained WBC Continental Americas heavyweight title|
|28||Win||28-0||Audley Harrison||TKO||1 (12), 1:10||Apr 27, 2013||Motorpoint Arena, Sheffield, England|
|27||Win||27-0||Matthew Greer||TKO||2 (8), 1:16||Jan 19, 2013||Centro de Convenciones, Villahermosa, Mexico|
|26||Win||26-0||Kelvin Price||KO||3 (10), 0:51||Dec 15, 2012||Memorial Sports Arena, Los Angeles, California, U.S.||Won vacant WBC Continental Americas heavyweight title|
|25||Win||25-0||Damon McCreary||KO||2 (10), 0:55||Sep 8, 2012||The Hangar, Costa Mesa, California, U.S.|
|24||Win||24-0||Kertson Manswell||TKO||1 (10), 2:10||Aug 4, 2012||Civic Center Expo Hall, Mobile, Alabama, U.S.|
|23||Win||23-0||Owen Beck||RTD||3 (8), 3:00||Jun 23, 2012||Killer Buzz Arena, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, U.S.|
|22||Win||22-0||Jesse Oltmanns||TKO||1 (8), 0:26||May 26, 2012||Oasis Hotel Complex, Cancún, Mexico|
|21||Win||21-0||Marlon Hayes||TKO||4 (8), 3:00||Feb 25, 2012||Scottrade Center, St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.|
|20||Win||20-0||David Long||KO||1 (8), 1:17||Nov 26, 2011||U.S. Bank Arena, Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.|
|19||Win||19-0||Daniel Cota||KO||3 (8), 2:55||Nov 5, 2011||Centro de Convenciones, Cancún, Mexico|
|18||Win||18-0||Dominique Alexander||TKO||2 (6), 2:02||Aug 27, 2011||Water Oaks Farm Arena, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, U.S.|
|17||Win||17-0||Damon Reed||KO||2 (6), 1:59||Jun 18, 2011||Tuscaloosa Amphitheater, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, U.S.|
|16||Win||16-0||Reggie Pena||TKO||1 (6), 2:03||May 6, 2011||Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, Indio, California, U.S.|
|15||Win||15-0||DeAndrey Abron||TKO||2 (6), 1:23||Feb 19, 2011||Shelton State Community College, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, U.S.|
|14||Win||14-0||Danny Sheehan||KO||1 (6), 1:48||Dec 2, 2010||Hilton Towers Ballroom, Lafayette, Louisiana, U.S.|
|13||Win||13-0||Harold Sconiers||TKO||4 (6), 1:09||Oct 15, 2010||Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, Indio, California, U.S.|
|12||Win||12-0||Shannon Caudle||KO||1 (6), 1:04||Sep 25, 2010||Fitzgeralds Casino and Hotel, Tunica Resorts, Mississippi, U.S.|
|11||Win||11-0||Dustin Nichols||RTD||1 (6), 3:00||Jul 3, 2010||Club Palace, Hattiesburg, Mississippi, U.S.|
|10||Win||10-0||Alvaro Morales||TKO||3 (6), 1:23||Apr 30, 2010||Tropicana Las Vegas, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.|
|9||Win||9-0||Ty Cobb||KO||1 (6), 0:33||Apr 2, 2010||The Joint, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.|
|8||Win||8-0||Jerry Vaughn||KO||1 (6), 1:02||Nov 28, 2009||Duke Energy Convention Center, Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.|
|7||Win||7-0||Travis Allen||TKO||1 (4), 1:30||Aug 14, 2009||Desert Diamond Casino, Tucson, Arizona, U.S.|
|6||Win||6-0||Kelsey Arnold||KO||1 (4), 1:13||Jun 26, 2009||Desert Diamond Casino, Tucson, Arizona, U.S.|
|5||Win||5-0||Charles Brown||KO||1 (6), 0:55||May 23, 2009||Duke Energy Convention Center, Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.|
|4||Win||4-0||Joseph Rabotte||KO||1 (4), 2:33||Apr 24, 2009||UIC Pavilion, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.|
|3||Win||3-0||Richard Greene Jr.||RTD||1 (4), 3:00||Mar 14, 2009||Duke Energy Convention Center, Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.|
|2||Win||2-0||Shannon Gray||TKO||1 (4), 2:12||Mar 6, 2009||James M. Trotter Convention Center, Columbus, Mississippi, U.S.|
|1||Win||1-0||Ethan Cox||TKO||2 (4), 2:54||Nov 15, 2008||Memorial Gymnasium, Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.|
|Amateur boxing titles|
| U.S. heavyweight champion
| U.S. Golden Gloves
|Regional boxing titles|
Title last held byChauncy Welliver
| WBC Continental Americas
December 15, 2012 - January 17, 2015
Won world title
Title next held byTony Thompson
|World boxing titles|
| WBC heavyweight champion
January 17, 2015 - February 22, 2020
KO1 Danny O'Connor
| PBC Knockout of the Year
KO9 Artur Szpilka
KO1 Bermane Stiverne
KO9 Artur Szpilka
| PBC Knockout of the Year
KO1 Bermane Stiverne
KO1 Juan Carlos Payano
| PBC Fight of the Year
vs. Luis Ortiz
Errol Spence Jr. vs.
| The Ring Round of the Year
vs. Tyson Fury
| PBC Round of the Year
vs. Tyson Fury
KO1 Juan Carlos Payano
| The Ring Knockout of the Year
vs. Luis Ortiz II