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When Will Deontay Wilder Return To The Ring?

Posted on 10/16/2023

By: Sean Crose

As far as I’m concerned, he’s still the hardest puncher I’ve ever seen, and I’ve been watching boxing since the late seventies. I also have a genuine interest in boxing history, so I’ve seen my share of power punchers. Still, no one – not Mike Tyson, or Joe Louis, or Ernie Shavers or even George Foreman could hit the way former WBC world heavyweight titlist Deontay Wilder hits. It’s actually frightening to watch, perhaps because his best shots seem to come out of nowhere. One minute the lanky Wilder is fighting awkwardly, the next, his opponent is laid out on the mat.

Deontay Wilder

Truth be told, I wouldn’t mind seeing the guy fight Tyson Fury a fourth time. Two of those first three bouts between the two men were exceedingly competitive. Plus, I can’t help remembering how Juan Manuel Marquez finally caught the great Manny Pacquiao in their classic fourth fight and put the Filipino legend down and out. Talk about a final act. Before Wilder can even think about vying for a title once again however, he has to actually fight. Seriously, the man hasn’t fought since October 15th of last year – that’s over twelve months ago.

What’s more, that last fight of Wilder’s lasted less than a minute. That’s literal truth. Wilder’s opponent that night, Robert Helenius, didn’t get to hang with Wilder for a full minute before the guy known as “The Bronze Bomber” sent him to slumber land. Since that time, however, there’s been a lot of chatter, but little else. Fellow former titlist Andy Ruiz seems to be perpetually in the conversation, as does another fellow former titlist, Anthony Joshua. Yet, promising as those two matches appear on paper, they just don’t seem to be happening.

And Wilder is not getting any younger. Indeed, the man’s now closer to forty than he is to thirty. And even though age isn’t particularly important in the heavyweight division – or rather, isn’t AS particularly important – the truth is our bodies lose their snap as we age. Again, Wilder is not getting any younger. What’s so troubling about this is the fact I suspect Wilder genuinely WANTS to get back in the ring. The man’s a world class competitor. Right now, however his greatest foe isn’t Fury, or Ruiz, or Joshua, it’s the debilitating politics of boxing. Wilder, frankly, deserves better – and so do the fans. Here’s hoping the man’s back sooner rather than later.

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