Deontay Wilder is far from counting down the days to his retirement.
The former heavyweight champion from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, insisted in a recent interview that he will remain an active prizefighter for the foreseeable future.
Wilder admitted previously that he was contemplating retirement in the wake of his brutal knockout loss to Tyson Fury in their third fight in 2021.
But the power puncher has since been busy trying to mount a comeback. He returned to the ring for the first time last year since his loss to Fury, knocking out Robert Helenius in one round at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Now he is set to take on former titlist Joseph Parker on Dec. 23 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, as part of a card headlined by a main event featuring Anthony Joshua against Otto Wallin.
Wilder, despite being 38, said he feels as if he is in his prime. The boxer also contended that he cannot be compared to other fighters his age because of the relatively late start he had in boxing.
“I’m young, I’m young, I just turned 38,” Wilder said on The Last Stand Podcast with Brian Custer. “But we gotta understand that I started very late. I started at 21. I haven’t had much damage on me. I’m still sexy, I still talk very well, I handle business very well. I’m still energetic. I think I’m a seasoned fighter right now.
“I used to think about all these other fighters, started when they were young, very young, and get to the point [where they burn out]. I look at some of my Olympic brothers, like damn they burnt out because they’ve been doing it for so long and you can’t get burnt out. But I’m not burned out because of how I started and where I am now.
“I’m seasoned right now, and a lot of people will see it come December 23rd, what I mean by that.”
Sean Nam is the author of Murder on Federal Street: Tyrone Everett, the Black Mafia, and the Last Golden Age of Philadelphia Boxing.