Deontay Wilder has admitted that he thought about giving up boxing after Tyson Fury devastatingly knocked him out in the 11th round of their trilogy fight in October of last year.
The American boxer claimed that he required some time away from the ring in order to absorb his consecutive losses in 2020 and 2021, which were the only setbacks in his professional career.
The Olympic bronze winner said that initially he intended to retire from boxing but changed his mind after seeing how the public reacted to the statue that was erected in his honor in May 2021.
Wilder referred to himself as a ‘walking, living legend’ and insisted the ‘world really needed’ him to return to boxing as he ‘motivated’ people.
‘What really got me back to this point [was the realization], like, damn, the world really needs me,’ Wilder said on The Last Stand podcast with Brian Custer.
‘I really motivate people. Although I’ve already known [that], even more so … when I got my statue man – When I got my statue, and that set all my accomplishments in stone, you’re looking at a walking, living legend.
‘No matter what, my supporters or my haters, when all talk dies, that statue stay risen. You feel me? That statue stay there forever ’til God comes and takes it away or some type of disaster happens… to see so many people come [for the unveiling] and women and see men break down and show their vulnerable side – I love that.’
During the ceremony, Wilder told fans that he would be returning to the ring in the future as he has a ‘lot of thing to get out of the way’ before hanging up his gloves.
The Bronze Bomber said: ‘I can’t stop right here. I must continue my journey. I have to, I have to. I’m looking to resume my career for sure. I’ve got a lot of other things I’ve got to get out of the way.
‘I’m taking away from my children if I come back, because now I’m able to enjoy my life fully like I want to. I sacrificed so much to be in this position in my life, to be able to life my life like I want for the rest of my life.’
The 36-year-old American added: ‘I’ve been highly requested. So many people have told me ‘Come back, come back.’ I’d say I’m back by popular demand. And the business of boxing needs me.
‘When there’s a thriving American champion, there’s nothing like it. When there’s not, you see it’s dead. There’s a drought in [the sport]. People know the difference now.’