Deontay Wilder has revealed his decision to lose weight, stave off retirement and commit his future to trainer Malik Scott.
“The Bronze Bomber” is ready to battle Robert Helenius on October 15 in a WBC heavyweight title eliminator bout this weekend.
Wilder, on the back of two losses to Tyson Fury, must beat the big Finn to have another chance at being a champion.
The Tuscaloosa fighter, who has 41 knockouts from 42 wins, needs to have his hands raised for a first victory since smashing Luis Ortiz in November 2019.
After sparring with Helenius for the third installment with Fury that got voted Fight of the Year for 2021, Wilder knows the contender well but remains wary of a real contest situation.
“I’ve never faced Helenius when it counts, so who knows what he’s going to bring,” said Wilder.
“Everyone knows that fighters train harder than ever when they face me. Hopefully, we’ll be able to bring that excitement on October 15.”
Why does Malik Scott train Deontay Wilder?
Asked what his partnership with ex-heavyweight Malik Scott means to him, Wilder responded: “Me and Malik Scott clicked instantly when we met helping Tomasz Adamek prepare for a fight years ago.
“To be able to make him one of my head coaches was a no-brainer. Having people you trust and know have your back means so much.
“What’s understood doesn’t need to be explained.”
Wilder stated how camp went with Scott: “I can only speak on what I’ve been doing in training and sparring. I would say I look amazing.
“I haven’t lost any steps. If anything, I’ve improved and gone back to the fundamentals. I’ve added new aspects to my skillset.
“It’s really about applying some things that I used not to work on as much.”
Why has Deontay Wilder lost weight?
Visibly losing weight judging by images of camp for Fury and Helenius, Wilder said he’s getting back to how things were before the “The Gypsy King” trilogy.
“My weight is not going to be what we worry about in this fight or fights in the future. We gained a lot of weight the last fight, but it was more about the expectations of seeing my body a certain way.
“Now I’m going back to what I’m used to and what’s comfortable for me.”
Contemplating retirement for weeks before making a comeback on Oct 15, Wilder explained that receiving an honor from his hometown in Alabama urged him to extend his legacy.
“Seeing the statue made for me in Alabama is what brought me back. My accomplishments are set in stone.
“But being there and seeing the people supporting me made me feel like there’s more that I can do.
“I’m still young. I’ve got three more years left in this business. There’s still a lot more left for me to do.
“I don’t feel any pressure. I’m soaking in my happiness and peace. This reign is about being happy.
“I don’t have anything to prove to anyone. I’ve done an amazing job in my career. So now I want to do the things that make me happy.
“Whatever we gain, that’s a plus.”
Wilder has many fights out there to keep him busy as part of a group containing the best heavyweights on the planet in Fury, Andy Ruiz Jr., and Oleksandr Usyk.
A fourth fight, a revenge mission with Fury, and a world title shot at Usyk are both on the cards after an expected Pay Per View battle with Ruiz next February in Las Vegas.
Meanwhile, facing Anthony Joshua remains unlikely as the Briton is continually kept away from the top punchers around the globe by promoter Eddie Hearn.
Fans on both sides of the Atlantic would undoubtedly like the fight. However, it seems off the menu as AJ looks to rebuild his failing career.
Dillian Whyte, an opponent Joshua has already knocked out, looks to be in the London man’s future at some point.
Right now, all eyes are on the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The best puncher in the sport makes his eagerly-awaited return on PPV.
The last time Wilder campaigned at the famous New York venue, he blasted out Dominic Breazeale in the first round.
WBN was ringside to witness a hellacious demolition before going backstage to a press conference as Wilder held court in his pomp.
One punch knockout
Three years older, it will be interesting to see how the defeats to Fury have affected his mentality against other opponents.
In the past, we were used to seeing “The Bronze Bomber” disregard boxing skills in favor of landing that single punch.
Against Fury the last time, Wilder was forced to box more to allow himself to hit the target. Will he do that against Helenius with another big right hand?
It remains to be seen. But judging by the size of the Scandinavian boxing star, the trilogy performance against Fury would be sufficient to get the job done.
Al Haymon of Premier Boxing Champions hopes things go to plan. He can then work on Wilder and Ruiz’s WBC title final eliminator next year.
Ruiz did his part by defeating Luis Ortiz last month. However, in his previous triumph, he couldn’t knock Ortiz out, as Wilder did in November 2019 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
The one-punch ending was one of Wilder’s best KOs.
The views expressed in this article are the opinions of Phil Jay.