Deontay’s Dangerous Bravado

By Marc Livitz on April 4, 2018
Deontay’s Dangerous Bravado
“I want a body on my record. I really do. That’s the ‘Bronze Bomber.’ He wants one.”

WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder openly admitted that he’d like to intentionally kill his opponent in the ring…

Boxing is a very risky vocation. Of course, most of us realize that such a statement is an obvious given fact. Through the passage of time, there have been fighters who succumbed to the beating they received in the ring and were unable to live to see another day. There’s a current debate within American sports as to whether or not parents should allow their child to play full contact football. From time to time, we catch headlines across various news sites which inform us that despite all of the protection and padding one wears in a contest, a child still suffered a broken neck, fell prey to paralysis or even passed away from a vicious or sometimes an innocuous hit.

It’s the risk taken, which isn’t always fully understood. We take a chance of sorts every day when we choose to get out of bed and go out into the public. Life’s no guarantee. The majority of boxers, especially at the professional level likely are aware of this fact of living.

What may come as a surprise is when a fighter openly admits that he’d like to intentionally kill his opponent in the ring, such as WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder recently did. The undefeated native of Tuscaloosa, Alabama was a guest last week on ‘The Breakfast Club’, a talk show on a New York City FM station, 105.1. About 45 minutes into the revealing interview with the champ, Wilder (40-0, 39 KO’s) boasted how one of the accolades he wishes to reach before he calls it a proverbial day is to have a challenger leave the ring as a dead man.

“I want a body on my record,” he said. “I want one. I really do. That’s the ‘Bronze Bomber.’ He wants one. When I’m the ‘Bronze Bomber,’ everything changes and I don’t really care.” Though the two hosts on the show seemed to be temporarily taken back by the brash comments, they nevertheless moved along and listened, as is part of conducting an honest interview.

We’ll not completely drag the needle across the record and allow our jaws to hit the floor. Such statements are nothing new. Though it was a few decades back, it really doesn’t seem like it was so long ago when former undisputed heavyweight champion “Iron” Mike Tyson gave us some memorable classic sound bytes of his own. Who can forget “If I don’t kill him, then it doesn’t count” or “How dare they challenge me with their primitive skills? They’re just as good as dead.”

Granted, Mike never killed anyone in the ring, which is not to suggest in any way that he never tried to do so. Deontay Wilder is trying to make a name for himself outside of the fringe sport that boxing sadly is. This isn’t the 1930’s, when heavyweight boxing was all the rage. Still, why was it so important for Joe Louis to beat Max Schmeling? Because his German adversary was a member of the Nazi Party, who eventually wanted no less than to kill all of us.

Over the course of the last handful of years, fans and fighters alike showed heartfelt admiration and compassion towards the unfortunate circumstances surrounding Wilder’s daughter Naieya, who was born with Spina Bifida. He left college in his home state of Alabama at the tender age of 19 to take up various blue-collar jobs before he decided to chase a shot at whatever he could do to help his infant daughter.

He became a fighter and well, here we are. How would the current WBC champion explain to her that he killed a man in the ring or that the pummeling he put on his opponent caused his eventual death? We should perhaps judge slowly here. Let’s not forget that Wilder may need to do or say just about whatever he can in order to get the one man who holds every other sanctioned heavyweight championship belt, Anthony Joshua into the ring. The British champion’s promoter, Eddie Hearn may look to find anything and everything he can possibly dangle, higher and higher in the face of the “Bronze Bomber” and his respective handlers until they finally meet.

There’s selling the fight and there’s selling the drama, all of which are commonplace these days. If Joshua fights the same way he did against Joseph Parker last weekend in the United Kingdom, in other words robotic and otherwise visually abysmal, then Wilder will drop a southern drubbing on him. Deontay’s openly accepted the challenge of “AJ” to hop the pond over to England or perhaps Wales if it means he gets the shot he wants and the one so many of us would like to see.

He was scheduled to conduct an international media conference call yesterday, but it was canceled. It’s likely that he was ready to state that he’s ready to face Joshua in any country and at any venue. All things considered, he would likely have been swamped with questions regarding his statements from last week. We all handle our personal lives differently, of course, yet Deontay Wilder may have put himself in a bit of hot water with his choice of words.

It’s one thing to openly acknowledge that death in the ring is a stark possibility, however it’s another matter when it’s stated as a goal of sorts. Does this sound just a bit morbid? Regardless of whether or not there’d be legal ramifications if it actually happened, the one who does the killing has to live with the choice for the rest of his life. It may not be as easy as our machismo would like us to believe. Just ask Ray Mancini.

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  1. st. martin 03:06pm, 04/07/2018

    The appropriate response to these comments is for ring physicians to boycott any Wilder fight.

  2. Ralph Fight Fan 12:22pm, 04/07/2018

    I like Downtown Ollie Brown’s analysis, especially that Wilder is what they call in the Deep South a “goober” which is a peanut, the size of which is about the size of Wilder’s class. Ditto Wilder’s intelligence and respect for his fellow gladiators in “the hurt business” who literally risk their lives plying their trade for our entertainment - every time they step into the ring, boxers never know if they’ll leave the ring alive. I’m no big fan of Deontay Wilder the man, a rather silly and immature guy for his age, but I have the utmost respect for his desire to be the best in his game and his championship punching power. That’s the boxing stuff. Cross the line into the MAN stuff and he’s utterly wrong and less than a man talking about “wanting a body” on his record. A lot of bravado, but he really doesn’t want that he killed another human being on his conscience either. And, obviously, he’s totally oblivious to the real prospect that if he stays in the game long enough, some younger more skilled and powerful boxer, his better, whom he will inevitably meet and end up the loser, could kill his ass too. Deontay’s wanting to kill an opponent in the ring brings to mind how boxing was in the days of the Roman gladiators, some history Deontay probably has no inkling of: I’ve read that in the Boxing Hall of Fame there is the original Roman “boxing glove”called the Cesta. The Cesta was a long thick nail embedded in a cow-hide thong; the boxer put the nail between his index and middle finger and then wrapped the thong round and round into his fist to secure the nail for fighting. Somebody really was going to die. “Hail Caesar, we who will die salute you!” Fast forward to today: according to Wikipedia: “In February 1995 it was estimated that “approximately 500 boxers have died in the ring or as a result of boxing since the Marquess of Queensberry Rules were introduced in 1884.” 22 boxers died in 1953 alone. This list is incomplete.” Since 500 or more boxers have died in the ring from boxing since 1884, we’ve not come a very long way since the Cesta, have we? So, knowing a little about the appalling death rate in boxing (don’t forget these boxers died entertaining us!) I never have any dispute with any referee who might stop a fight arguably too soon – that ref’s job is to see to it that that boxer he thinks has had enough pounding doesn’t get killed!
    You correctly pointed out that Deontay’s wanting to kill an opponent in the ring isn’t new. You mentioned Tyson’s expressed desires to really hurt his opponents. I once heard Mike say that he’d like to land an uppercut (his was a vicious one) in a way that would drive the bone in the nose up into the brain, which if landed properly could mean death for the victim. I’ll bet in his heart of hearts today, Mike regrets ever saying that – Tyson strikes me as a really nice classy guy today. Mike has seen some life, and death, not the least of which was the death of a child. I’ve never really liked Deontay for his general silliness and immaturity. Wilder has seen no life and so has no respect for the lives of his opponents. Add that Deontay Wilder has great skills but no class, nor any understanding of the bigger picture. If he were to pull back and take a look at his profession as a man having some compassion for his fellow gladiators, he’d understand that virtually all pro boxers come from very humble if not impoverished circumstances and risk death every time they enter the ring. I’ve been told by a friend very knowledgeable in the fight game that many boxers take out one-game insurance policies to provide for their loved ones in the event of death or total incapacitation.  Most of his fellow pugs have families, like him, and are fighting to put food on the table for those families. Grow up Deontay!!! TRY to have some class and compassion for your fellows, who fight for a living, risking all, who are not as gifted as you in money and ability.

  3. peter 03:50pm, 04/06/2018

    Wilder’s skill level relies on throwing a straight right hand, like Mark Breland, his corner man, has told him time and time to do.

  4. Pete The Sneak 12:56pm, 04/06/2018

    It’s idiotic comments like that from Wilder that makes it hard to root for him. To talk about wanting to actually kill a man in the ring and walk out with a ‘body’ under him is about as classless as you can get. That’s not selling a fight, that’s just the mindless spouting of a real jack ass. Of course anytime you enter the ring, there is always the possibility of the inevitable happening. But to actually say that you are looking to do that as a mindset to another professional who has family, children,etc. is just about as low as you can get. I hope when Joshua fights him he truly does put an ass whipping on Mr. Wilder, but not kill him…Peace.

  5. Your Name 10:29am, 04/05/2018

    Wilder is one of the biggest assholes in the art of boxing. His skill level relies on a hard right hand. Take that away and you have an awkward, gangly scarecrow with no defense. Time to take him out. Whyte, certainly Povetkin or Joshua can do just that. Mayweather was a good trash talker. Wilder is a simple imbecile.

  6. Ollie Downtown Brown 05:51am, 04/05/2018

    We have all read or heard about people dying from fist fights or boxing matches. And in most of the cases, I’m sure the victim wasn’t being punched by someone with Earnie Shavers or George Foreman like bombs. One case I remember reading about involved a fist fight between two 12 year old girls and another one happened between two guys that looked like AARP members. So bragging about ones ability to have the power to kill someone with your bare hands isn’t really all that special to begin with. After all, Emile Griffith killed Benny Paret, and Griffith certainly wasn’t known as a heavy puncher by any stretch. IMO, this guy is a fraud as well as a clown. Borrowing a term often used for idiots like this in the Deep South, since Wilder is from Alabama, he is what is commonly called a “goober.”

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