Deontay Wilder says he is returning to boxing because the sport ‘dies’ without an American heavyweight champion.
The Bronze Bomber recently announced his decision to step back in the ring after months of silence following his second defeat to Britain’s Tyson Fury in October 2021.
There were rumors the 36-year-old might hang up his gloves, but Wilder dismissed those claims during a statue-unveiling in Alabama.
He said: “I can’t stop right now. I must continue with my journey. I love you guys so much. I can’t end it like this. This journey isn’t over with.”
Wilder, who boasts a record of 42-2-1 with 41 knockouts, had a five-year run as WBC champion between 2015 and 2020 before Fury took the belt from him.
Ukraine’s Oleksandr Usyk currently holds the other three heavyweights titles following his victory over Englishman Anthony Joshua in September 2021.
And American Wilder claims the showpiece division is most exciting when someone from the States rules as champion.
“One thing about boxing that I’ve proved is that boxing thrives off excitement, but the excitement of an American champion. Once that dies, so does boxing,” Wilder told Blue Blood Sports TV.
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“I was living proof, because I’m coming back on popular demand because that’s all I’ve been hearing from high and low. From homeless people all the way up to millionaires. You feel me?
“It’s just been an amazing feeling. So many people reaching out telling me it’s important because without an American, heavyweight boxing really isn’t exciting.
“An American heavyweight brings that excitement to the division. Then all the money flows. Trust me on that.”
It is not yet clear who Wilder will face in his next fight, although he has plenty of options.
Andy Ruiz Jr shares the same promoter, while the Bronze Bomber could face the loser of Joshua’s rematch with Usyk.
Other potential opponents include Joseph Parker, Dillian Whyte, Joe Joyce, Daniel Dubois and Otto Wallin, who ran Fury close in their fight.
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