Deontay Leshun Wilder (born October 22, 1985 in Tuscaloosa) is the reigning United States Amateur Heavyweight Champion and now a professional boxer. He won the amateur championship and national Golden Gloves championship in 2007 and was the only American boxer to medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics.
Wilder graduated from Tuscaloosa Central High School in 2004 and dreamed of playing football or basketball for the hometown Crimson Tide, but academic issues forced him to work on his grades at Shelton State Community College. Wilder and his wife, Jessica, had a daughter, Naieya, who was diagnosed with spina bifida. He took a job as a truck driver for Budweiser to support his new family.
Wilder began to train as a boxer at Jay Deas' Skyy Boxing gym in October 2005 and soon came under the tutelage of trainer Ace Miller of Knoxville, Tennessee. In the 2007 Golden Gloves national championship he defeated cadet world champion Isiah Thomas and David Thompson to reach the finals. There he defeated Quantis Graves and won a 31-15 decision over James Zimmerman.
Also in 2007 he made an impressive showing at the Olympic Trials, besting Graves twice more before winning the competition in 21 bouts. He lost a 20-23 decision to Poland's Krzysztof Zimnoch in that year's world championships.
Wilder began 2008 by defeating Rakhim Chakhiyev in Russia. He qualified for the Olympics by defeating Deivis Julio of Columbia, Jorge Quinones of Ecuador and Rafael Lima of Brazil. During the Olympics he defeated Abdelaziz Toulbini of Algeria and Mohamed Arjaoui of Morocco to reach the semifinal bout in Worker's Indoor Arena in Beijing. There he lost to Clemente Russo of Italy and finished with a Bronze medal.
Wilder, called "The Bronze Bomber" for his Olympic success, is managed by Deas and Shelly Finkel for Golden Boy Promotions. His trainer, Mark Breland, moved to Northport from Brooklyn to work with the fighter. Wilder made his professional debut on the undercard of Jeff Lacy versus Jermain Taylor fight. He fought Ethan Cox and won by technical knock-out in the second round of a four-round bout. Since then he was won 16 more bouts, all by knock-out, to remain undefeated.
Professional bouts (23-0-0)
- November 15, 2008: Def. Ethan Cox (TKO 2-4) at Vanderbilt Memorial Gymnasium, Nashville, Tennessee
- March 6, 2009: Def. Shannon Gray (TKO 1-4) at Trotter Convention Center, Columbus, Mississippi
- March 14, 2009: Def. Richard Greene, Jr (RTD 1-4) at Duke Energy Convention Center, Cincinnati, Ohio
- April 24, 2009: Def. Joseph Rabotte (KO 1-4) at UIC Pavilion, Chicago, Illinois
- May 23, 2009: Def. Charles Brown (KO 1-6) at Duke Energy Convention Center, Cincinnati, Ohio
- June 26, 2009: Def. Kelsey Arnold (KO 1-4) at Desert Diamond Casino, Tucson, Arizona
- August 14, 2009: Def. Travis Allen (TKO 1-4) at Desert Diamond Casino, Tucson, Arizona
- November 28, 2009: Def. Jerry Vaughn (KO 1-6) at Duke Energy Convention Center, Cincinnati, Ohio
- April 2, 2010: Def. Tyson Cobb (KO 1-6) at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada
- April 30, 2010: Def. Alvaro Morales (TKO 3-6) at Tropicana Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada
- July 3, 2010: Def. Dustin Nichols (RTD 1-6) at Club Palace, Hattiesburg, Mississippi
- September 25, 2010: Def. Shannon Caudle (KO 1-6) at Fitzgerald's Casino & Hotel, Tunica, Mississippi
- October 15, 2010: Def. Harold Sconiers (TKO 4-6) at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, Indio, California
- December 2, 2010: Def. Dan Sheehan (TKO 1-6) at Hilton Towers Ballroom, Lafayette, Louisiana
- February 19, 2011: Def. DeAndrey Abron (TKO 2-6) at Shelton State Community College
- May 6, 2011: Def. Reggie Pena (TKO 1-6) at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, Indio, California
- June 18, 2011: Def. Damon Reed (KO 2-8) at the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater
- August 27, 2011: Def. Dominique Alexander (TKO 2-6) at Water Oaks Farm Arena in Tuscaloosa
- November 5, 2011: Def. Daniel Cota (KO 3-8) at Centro de Cancun, Mexico
- November 26, 2011: Def. David Long (KO 1-8) at the U. S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio
- February 25, 2012: Def. Marlon Hayes (TKO 4-8) at the Scottrade Center in Saint Louis, Missouri
- May 26, 2012: Def. Jesse Oltmanns (TKO 1-8) at the Oasis Hotel Complex in Cancun, Mexico
- June 23, 2012: Def. Owen Beck (TKO 3-8) at the Killer Buzz Arena in Tuscaloosa
- Coulter, Lucinda (May 6, 2007) "Deontay Wilder wins national Golden Gloves championship." Tuscaloosa News
- Carpenter, Les (August 22, 2010) "Fighting for His Dream, And for His Little Girl."
- Deontay Wilder (February 13, 2010) Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia - accessed May 1, 2010
- Kausler, Jr, Dan (June 18, 2011) "Deontay Wilder scores knockout in Tuscaloosa bout to stay perfect as a pro boxer." Birmingham News