By: Sean Crose
He may no longer be the WBC heavyweight champion of the world, but Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder is still worthy of attention – serious attention. On Wednesday a bronze statue of Wilder was unveiled in his home town of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, at the Tuscaloosa Tourism and Sports building (TTS) . The statue was created by local artist Caleb O’Connor. “We are excited to unveil this highly anticipated piece of public art featuring the Bronze Bomber – Tuscaloosa’s world-champion boxer – and created by Caleb O’Connor, who has adopted Tuscaloosa as his home and has created many other beautiful pieces in our city,” said Tuscaloosa mayor Walt Maddox. “We’re proud of his (Wilder’s) accomplishments and are thrilled the visitor center will be home to this incredible statue,” stated TTS CEO Don Staley.
Yet a statue in his honor isn’t the only news regarding Wilder. “I’m looking to resume my career for sure,” the 42-2-1 fighter said on Wednesday at the ceremony. “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 live my life like I want for the rest of my life.” Still, Wilder made it clear that he feels he also has responsibilities outside the home. “I apologize to my family if it’s an inconvenience,” he said, “but the world needs me. And I must go back to the call of duty at this moment in time.”
According to Wilder, there are fans asking for his return. “I’ve been highly requested,” he stated. “So many people have told me ‘Come back, come back.’ I’d say I’m back by popular demand.” According to Wilder, boxing needs an American star. “When there’s a thriving American champion, there’s nothing like it,” he said. “When there’s not, you see it’s dead. There’s a drought in. People know the difference now.”
Wilder last saw action in the fall of 2021 when he lost a spectacular fight with arch rival Tyson Fury. It was the third match between the two, all of which were memorable. Although Wilder ended up on the losing side two of the three times – his first fight with Fury ending in a draw – it’s clear the hard hitting Alabaman feels he up to the task of winning a world title once more.
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