Deontay Wilder in Training: Part 1
Skyy Boxing in Northport, Alabama looks like any other small town boxing gym. It isn’t much to look at on the outside. Once you step inside, you’ll see a ring, various punching bags, and posters from a variety of local and national fights from throughout the years. Owner and trainer Jay Deas supervises the training like many others in his position. Some of the trainees are children others are adults just looking to stay in shape.
What Skyy Boxing has that most gyms of its size does not is who it can boast as a member and student. Four years ago, the gym produced the only American boxer to win a medal at the Beijing Olympics. Deontay Wilder, a native of Tuscaloosa, took the bronze in the heavyweight division. Winning an Olympic medal is a huge accomplishment by itself, but it was only the beginning for Wilder. As a new Summer Olympics will begin next month in London, it is appropriate to look back at the four years Wilder has had since Beijing and the years he has ahead of him.
Since Beijing, Deontay turned professional and has complied a record of 22-0 with his most recent win coming on May 26th in Cancun, Mexico. He won the fight with a knockout twenty six seconds into the first round.
Since Beijing, Deontay has been represented by Golden Boy Promotions, owned by boxing legend Oscar de la Hoya and one of the key promotional organizations in boxing.
Since Beijing, Deontay was the key reason the state of Alabama successfully established an athletic commission so he could legally fight in his home state. Tuscaloosa has played host to three of his fights with the fourth one approaching later this month.
Since Beijing, Deontay has been seen as one of the few American hopes in boxing’s heavyweight division. The heavyweight division still has a lure as it produced names like Ali, Foreman, Frazier, Tyson, and Hollyfield. Its popularity in the United States has been diminished due to a near decade long dominance by those from Eastern Europe like the Klitschko brothers.
Deontay’s management team has been careful with his career so far, but Deontay and his team feel it’s time to take the next step. In a recent interview with Fight Hype, Deontay went on the record saying both he and Golden Boy want fights against Top 10 ranked opponents. He has been sparring partners for those who have fought the Klitschkos, but he knows it is time to take it to the next level.
It’s a hot Tuesday afternoon in Alabama, and Deontay is at the Skyy Boxing gym to prepare for his next fight on June 23rd. It’s an important one as it will be his second within a month, but it will also be taking place in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Deontay has no time to worry about the already oppressive Alabama heat of the day. Deas works him through a variety of drills both in and out of the ring.
Deontay has a mission to accomplish. Not only will he be boxing in front of a hometown crowd for the fourth time in his career, but he will be continuing to advance the professional career that took off three months after the bronze medal win in Beijing. His opponent on June 23rd, Owen Beck of Jamaica, is no push over, but Deontay will undoubtedly be the favorite in the fight. His training, though, can’t reflect a sense of relaxation or complacency. Deontay is training not only for the fight in the short term but also the one in the long term. Bronze might have been the prize four years ago, but gold is on Deontay’s mind now. The gold of a heavyweight title belt.
I do hope you have enjoyed the first part of this series looking at Deontay’s preparations for his fight on June 23rd. The series will conclude with coverage of the actual event. If you would like more information or tickets to the fight, which will be held at the Killer Buzz Arena in Tuscaloosa, please contact Jay Deas at 205-799-1696. The full gallery of photos from this training session can be found at http://www.dsmithimages.com/site/misc-galleries/deontay-wilder-in-training-part-1/1/