THE name Deontay Wilder first appeared in my SunSport column on August 31, 2012 when he was completely unknown in Britain.
At the time he had won all his 24 fights by knockout and I had heard from America he was the most fearsome puncher since George Foreman and called himself the Bronze Bomber.
Shelley Finkel, his co-manager told me Wilder a bronze medallist at the Beijing Olympics, had been an outstanding college athlete with ambitions to be a gridiron or basketball star.
He took up boxing only to earn money to pay the medical bills for his daughter Naieye who suffered from Spina bifida.
Finkel said “We have built up Deontay from scratch and kept him away from national publicity.
“But we now feel the time has come to start pushing him towards the heavyweight title.
“He is equipped to go all the way.”
How many times we have heard that from managers and promoters?
But Finkel who was instrumental in helping to mastermind the career of Evander Holyfield and other world champions certainly knew what he was talking about.
How me measures up:
6ft 7ins tall.
Reach 83 inches
British fans were introduced to Wilder’s frightening power five years ago when he arrived in Sheffield and took just 1min 42 seconds to demolish Audley Harrison.
Two years later he outpointed Bermaine Stiverne to become America’s first world heavyweight champion for nine years.
He may have been lucky to get away with a draw against Tyson Fury but he is still one of the world’s most exciting fighters.
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