Deontay Wilder has confirmed his plans to return to the ring, insisting he ‘must continue his journey’ in boxing.
The former WBC heavyweight champion has not fought since his crushing defeat to Tyson Fury last October, knocked out in the eleventh round of their epic trilogy contest.
Wilder has remained out of the public eye since. But at a ceremony in his hometown of Tuscaloosa, Alabama where a statue of his likeness was presented, the 36-year-old insisted he will fight again.
‘I can’t stop right now. I must continue with my journey,” Wilder said. ‘I love you guys so much. I can’t end it like this. This journey’s not over with. I must continue my journey.’
Wilder’s old foe Fury has repeatedly insisted he is now retired from boxing in the wake of his stunning knockout win over Dillian Whyte in April.
Should ‘The Gypsy King’ stick to his promise he will eventually vacate his WBC title.
Despite two punishing defeats in his last two fights, Wilder remains the no1 ranked fighter in the governing body’s rankings and will be in line to fight for the belt if it is made available.
Following his win over Whyte, Fury declared Wilder to still be ‘the second-best heavyweight in the division,’ urging him to take his place in an unification fight against Oleksandr Usyk or Anthony Joshua.
Fury said: ‘I’d like to see Deontay Wilder fight whoever [wins Joshua v Usyk II] for it again.’
In 2015, Wilder became the first American since Hasim Rahman to win a heavyweight world title after beating Bermane Stiverne.
He went onto defend the belt 10 times, winning nine of those fights by stoppage as he built a reputation as the most dangerous knockout artist in the division.
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