Deontay Wilder Could Do First Defense In His Backyard of ‘Bama

Manager/co-trainer Jay Deas has been dealing with an annoying but sort of enjoyable at the same time issue: the man’s voice mail has crashed three times, because of the overload of calls from well wishers, calling him and telling him they loved what Deas’ kid Deontay Wilder (33-0 with 32 KOs) did on Jan. 17.

Wilder, the XXL beanpole from ‘Bama, showed a brand of boxing, fighting in retreat, jabbing like he was getting paid per the jab, marshaling energy smartly, that nobody much outside of his entourage knew he could. But of course, after the win over Bermane Stiverne in Vegas (UD12), everyone and their brother and their brothers’ mother called Deas and said congrats and “I knew it was gonna happen” and stuff along those lines. “I probably got a thousand calls, and Deontay got thousands,” Deas said.

At the minimum, Wilders’ showing made me want to see if he can replicate the sweetly scientific manner in which he handled Stiverne on his next glove-up…though, as I confessed to Deas, this version of Stiverne was distinctly underwhelming. His approach was passive, his game planning was hazy, and of course we heard days after that his body was working against him, that he was dealing with a condition called rhabdomyolysis, which is “the breakdown of muscle tissue that leads to the release of muscle fiber contents into the blood,” according to Medline. So, while the jury isn’t out on Wilder, let’s say that this juror didn’t think the case was slam-dunk obvious that the ‘Bama banger is destined to be the heir to being the division boss after Wlad decides, or his body and chin decide, to exit the swinger stage.

Deas took the highest of roads and said that he believes Team Stiverne, that this wasn’t some Don King trickeration conjured to build buzz for a rematch, as when The Don enlisted all his horses and men in the aftermath of the Tyson-Douglas “long count” scenario. He said he spoke to Stiverne trainer Don House, and he knows House is a truth-speaker, and House said dehydration was a severe issue. But, Deas noted, it wasn’t as if his kid had nothing working against him before and during the bout. For starters, his left eye was swollen near shut the night before the fight. No, he didn’t get into an impromptu scrap with a hungry boxing writer at a Vegas buffet, and one of the portly keyboard tappers lashed out with a sneak-attack left hook while protecting the last porkchop…the culprit was a rubber stretching band. Wilder was using it, and it snapped back at him. His eye got bad, and there was a mild panic in Team Wilder. But their doc was present, and ice was applied and some eye drops were used, and the swelling by fight night was basically unnoticeable. Yes, for a time there, it looked like the fight would have to be cancelled. Deas said you can see some swelling when Wilder takes of his Mardi Gras mask in ring…

Then, in round four, his right hand fractured. It had been hurt before and a couple pins are in there. The kid fought through the pain, and good news, docs say no surgery is needed. In a little over four weeks, Wilder will be examined and get the go ahead to use it…or he might need another couple weeks after that.

The 29-year-old Wilder will likely scrap in the summer, Deas said, and it’s too early to truly get serious about names. Al Haymon will throw maybe four or five names at Deas, and possibles will be whittled down. And if Deas had final say, what names would be in the mix? “I like undefeated guys,” he told me. “Guys like Tyson Fury, Lucas Browne..if Bryant Jennings were to beat Klitschko…. I will talk to Al, and advisor Shelly Finkel.

So those are some “whos.” What about “where?” A fight with Fury in England would be compelling, and going over there and looking to kick his tail on his turf would be fun, Deas said.

Hey, what about a scrap in ‘Bama? “There are several venues here that would be suitable. I’d say there is a 50-50 chance the first defense would be in Alabama. It would be like Terence Crawford has in Nebraska. It would be unprecedented.”

Me, I love that hometown vibe which makes the venue hop and the energy level kick up, because of the level of investment of the rooters. They see themselves in that ring, a representation of them, and that makes for an uptick in excitement. I say book it! What about you guys? Would you rather a “timberrrr” moment in England, with a down-goes-Fury (23-0 with 17 KOs) outcome? Or maybe bring Browne (22-0 with 19 KOs) to Bama, see if the Aussie can test that Wilder chin better than Stiverne did? Talk to me, in our Forum!

Photo credit : Stephanie Trapp

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COMMENTS

-Radam G :

People always want to believe that things have changed. And things have changed. But not enough for D-Wild to have a successful turnout in the state where he and the late, great "Brown Bomber" Joe Louis were born. Sorry, but D-Wild has the wrong complexion and won't be able to get a connection. Alabama was never ready to accept the Brown Bomber Joe Louis and welcome him home to scrap. Alabama will never be ready for D-Wild. I'm just saying. Holla!


-amayseng :

It would be nice to see him get a better trainer and try to incorporate some fundamentals that are lacking. If not he will have a short reign, sadly.


-The Commish :

People always want to believe that things have changed. And things have changed. But not enough for D-Wild to have a successful turnout in the state where he and the late, great "Brown Bomber" Joe Louis were born. Sorry, but D-Wild has the wrong complexion and won't be able to get a connection. Alabama was never ready to accept the Brown Bomber Joe Louis and welcome him home to scrap. Alabama will never be ready for D-Wild. I'm just saying. Holla!
The time distance from the end of the slavery days until the beginning of the Joe Louis Era is about the same as the distance from the Joe Louis Era until today. Deontay Wilder is a beloved figure in Tuscaloosa as well as throughout Alabama. I really don't wamt to hear that "D-Wild has the wrong complexion and won't be able to get a connection." He, along with every other African-American in Alabama, shops, eats, walks, plays and does business where they want and when they want. It's a different age, Radam. Sure, racism is still out there. I'm not blind or deaf to it. Why, right here on Long Island, there is a town, as well as a few country clubs, in which they do everything except hang signs and posters which read, "Blacks and Jews Not Welcome." Deontay Wilder is not lacking for love and respect in Tuscaloosa. He is one of that city's most respected individuals. As far as "connections," Wilder has more than connections than Joe Louis ever had. The "Brown Bomber" didn't have Oscar de la Hoya, Showtime, Al Haymon, Shelly Finkel and Jay Deas. A fight between Wilder and Tyson Fury in Bryant-Denny Stadium--home of the Alabama's beloved "Crimson Tide" football team--would do terrific numbers. Wilder's fans would turn out in great numbers, not just from around the state, but from around the country. Fury would also bring a large contingent from England. And if you really want to play that race card, then the haters would also come out and root for one of them to lose. Bryant-Denny Stadium can be configured to hold around 125,000 or so for boxing. A Wilder-Fury fight can be built into something tremendous, with the winner promised a unification bout against Wladimir Klitschko. It would not surprise me if every one of those 125,000 seats were filled. Alabama may not have given Joe Louis the love they should have, but America was in a different place. They're more-than-ready for Deontay Wilder. -Randy G.


-The Good Doctor :

People always want to believe that things have changed. And things have changed. But not enough for D-Wild to have a successful turnout in the state where he and the late, great "Brown Bomber" Joe Louis were born. Sorry, but D-Wild has the wrong complexion and won't be able to get a connection. Alabama was never ready to accept the Brown Bomber Joe Louis and welcome him home to scrap. Alabama will never be ready for D-Wild. I'm just saying. Holla!
I don't want to dismiss what you are saying because in alot of situations inside and outside of boxing you are right. However, if Terrance Crawford can draw 11,000 in a state that 1 in 25 people are the same skin color, I think that Wilder could get 6,8, or maybe 10K in a state where 1 in 3 are black. Also, there is still some lore in the idea that you are a heavyweight champion. It is not nearly what it was, but it does matter.


-The Commish :

I don't want to dismiss what you are saying because in alot of situations inside and outside of boxing you are right. However, if Terrance Crawford can draw 11,000 in a state that 1 in 25 people are the same skin color, I think that Wilder could get 6,8, or maybe 10K in a state where 1 in 3 are black. Also, there is still some lore in the idea that you are a heavyweight champion. It is not nearly what it was, but it does matter.
Very true. Plus, Wilder's popularity is soaring, especially in his home state. Right now, he could do what Manny Pacquiao did and run for political office and win. A fight between he and Fury would be the tallest matchup in heavyweight history and two of the biggest mouths. With CBS/Showtime behind it, the publicity would be easy on this one. When you wrote of Wilder getting "...6, 8, or maybe 10K," were you referring to any Wilder defense, to a Wilder defense in Alabama or a defense in Alabama against the likes of a Tyson Fury? I still say Wilder-Fury, after a three-month media blitz, will do phenomenal numbers. The winner, or course, will get Wladimir Klitschko, sometime within the first six months of 2016, probably in a soccer stadium in Germany in front of well over 100,000 fans. -Randy G.


-The Good Doctor :

Very true. Plus, Wilder's popularity is soaring, especially in his home state. Right now, he could do what Manny Pacquiao did and run for political office and win. A fight between he and Fury would be the tallest matchup in heavyweight history and two of the biggest mouths. With CBS/Showtime behind it, the publicity would be easy on this one.
When you wrote of Wilder getting "...6, 8, or maybe 10K," were you referring to any Wilder defense, to a Wilder defense in Alabama or a defense in Alabama against the likes of a Tyson Fury? I still say Wilder-Fury, after a three-month media blitz, will do phenomenal numbers. The winner, or course, will get Wladimir Klitschko, sometime within the first six months of 2016, probably in a soccer stadium in Germany in front of well over 100,000 fans. -Randy G.
I was referring to Wilder fighting any old bumb. If you talk Fury or against someone while paired with a good card, I think he could get 15 easy. If you have it at Bryant-Denny, possibly 25-30K, maybe alot more. After all, we are talking about a state where 85K show up to a glorified scrimmage when the Crimson Tide have their spring game. I would consider though that the economics of Bama are not the greatest, so ticket prices would need to reflect that to get a great draw.


-Radam G :

I don't want to dismiss what you are saying because in alot of situations inside and outside of boxing you are right. However, if Terrance Crawford can draw 11,000 in a state that 1 in 25 people are the same skin color, I think that Wilder could get 6,8, or maybe 10K in a state where 1 in 3 are black. Also, there is still some lore in the idea that you are a heavyweight champion. It is not nearly what it was, but it does matter.
T-Craw did and does da do in a U.S. mainland western state. There is a whole different dynamics of haps there. In sports and hard work, color and alleged race have not ever mattered a 100 percent. Holla!


-brownsugar :

People always want to believe that things have changed. And things have changed. But not enough for D-Wild to have a successful turnout in the state where he and the late, great "Brown Bomber" Joe Louis were born. Sorry, but D-Wild has the wrong complexion and won't be able to get a connection. Alabama was never ready to accept the Brown Bomber Joe Louis and welcome him home to scrap. Alabama will never be ready for D-Wild. I'm just saying. Holla!
Well said RG .... But even the awesome W. Klitchko and his brother apparently weren't the right complexion for the fickle American audience..... They had to go earn their fortunes in Germany. WK is still seeking acceptance... He gets another chance on the ROC Nation card in April. Things do change my friend.... Martin Luther King's former adversary Alabama Governer George Wallace embraced civil rights ..after being confined in a wheelchair. Wilder relates very well to the younger demographic and his recent fight scored high in the viewership department.... By Showtimes boxing standards at least. Fans love powerful fighters and guys who go for the kill.(and who act silly and smile a lot) Don't right Wilder off too soon.


-brownsugar :

People always want to believe that things have changed. And things have changed. But not enough for D-Wild to have a successful turnout in the state where he and the late, great "Brown Bomber" Joe Louis were born. Sorry, but D-Wild has the wrong complexion and won't be able to get a connection. Alabama was never ready to accept the Brown Bomber Joe Louis and welcome him home to scrap. Alabama will never be ready for D-Wild. I'm just saying. Holla!
Well said RG .... But even the awesome W. Klitchko and his brother apparently weren't the right complexion for the fickle American audience..... They had to go earn their fortunes in Germany. WK is still seeking acceptance... He gets another chance on the ROC Nation card in April. Things do change my friend.... Martin Luther King's former adversary Alabama Governer George Wallace embraced civil rights ..after being confined in a wheelchair. Wilder relates very well to the younger demographic and his recent fight scored high in the viewership department.... By Showtimes boxing standards at least. Fans love powerful fighters and guys who go for the kill.(and who act silly and smile a lot) Don't right Wilder off too soon.


-Radam G :

The time distance from the end of the slavery days until the beginning of the Joe Louis Era is about the same as the distance from the Joe Louis Era until today. Deontay Wilder is a beloved figure in Tuscaloosa as well as throughout Alabama. I really don't wamt to hear that "D-Wild has the wrong complexion and won't be able to get a connection." He, along with every other African-American in Alabama, shops, eats, walks, plays and does business where they want and when they want. It's a different age, Radam. Sure, racism is still out there. I'm not blind or deaf to it. Why, right here on Long Island, there is a town, as well as a few country clubs, in which they do everything except hang signs and posters which read, "Blacks and Jews Not Welcome." Deontay Wilder is not lacking for love and respect in Tuscaloosa. He is one of that city's most respected individuals. As far as "connections," Wilder has more than connections than Joe Louis ever had. The "Brown Bomber" didn't have Oscar de la Hoya, Showtime, Al Haymon, Shelly Finkel and Jay Deas. A fight between Wilder and Tyson Fury in Bryant-Denny Stadium--home of the Alabama's beloved "Crimson Tide" football team--would do terrific numbers. Wilder's fans would turn out in great numbers, not just from around the state, but from around the country. Fury would also bring a large contingent from England. And if you really want to play that race card, then the haters would also come out and root for one of them to lose. Bryant-Denny Stadium can be configured to hold around 125,000 or so for boxing. A Wilder-Fury fight can be built into something tremendous, with the winner promised a unification bout against Wladimir Klitschko. It would not surprise me if every one of those 125,000 seats were filled. Alabama may not have given Joe Louis the love they should have, but America was in a different place. They're more-than-ready for Deontay Wilder. -Randy G.
The U.S. American mainland may be a different place, but she is sneaky with her pace. THINGS have not changed as fast as the changing-things "Baby Boomers" think. Prez O has civil rights spies everywhere. And things are still looking misty blue yet. I have no doubt that D-Wild is Bama TIME popular -- not change-of-times popular. Besides, Alabama is a football state, not a boxing one. NO! NO! NO! NO! No way that D-Wild sells out any football statium in Alabama. He would not even sell out a high school one. C'mon, Commish! Don't play yourself! Deep U.S. South white southerners cannot stand D-Wild's ?o?k? behaviour. They hate his smack talk and "God-Has-Ordained-me-heavyweight-champion-of-the-world" talk. Boxing has changed a lot of things and lives, but let's not get carry away. In 'Bama country, D-Wild -- they do not play, nor will they pay. Not to see him fight in the biggest football stadium in that state anyway. I doubt that any of this has to do with race that much. It is about culture and color. Imma stick with D-Wild has the wrong complexion to get the connection. He also has the wrong sport to get the selection. Holla!


-Radam G :

Well said RG .... But even the awesome W. Klitchko and his brother apparently weren't the right complexion for the fickle American audience..... They had to go earn their fortunes in Germany. WK is still seeking acceptance... He gets another chance on the ROC Nation card in April. Things do change my friend.... Martin Luther King's former adversary Alabama Governer George Wallace embraced civil rights ..after being confined in a wheelchair. Wilder relates very well to the younger demographic and his recent fight scored high in the viewership department.... By Showtimes boxing standards at least. Fans love powerful fighters and guys who go for the kill.(and who act silly and smile a lot) Don't right Wilder off too soon.
The docs/bros K were the wrong nationality and even mix -- Asiatic Caucasians. Besides, the U.S. mainland has never accepted heavyweight champions from other lands. "The baddest man on earth" to it must be USA mainland bred and fed at a minimum. Holla!


-King Beef :

"Besides, Alabama is a football state, not a boxing one. " I'll have to agree with you on that to some degree, but I wouldn't underestimate the "boxing fans" of Bama, if there are any. They will show up if Wilder fights there. The people of Bama could be starving for some boxing representation. I don't think the race thing will be as much a factor as the lack of interest in the sport being overshadowed by "Alabama football". The hardest of racist will forget all about his hatred on game day or fight night.


-The Commish :

"Besides, Alabama is a football state, not a boxing one. " I'll have to agree with you on that to some degree, but I wouldn't underestimate the "boxing fans" of Bama, if there are any. They will show up if Wilder fights there. The people of Bama could be starving for some boxing representation. I don't think the race thing will be as much a factor as the lack of interest in the sport being overshadowed by "Alabama football". The hardest of racist will forget all about his hatred on game day or fight night.
So true, King Beef. So true. There are also the haters who will come to a Wilder-Tyson Fury match just to see Wilder get his head knocked off to the goal line at Bryant-Denny Stadium. The powers-that-be are already having discussions with local politicians and the University of 'Bama to put Wilder's first defense there. If Terence Crawford could fill a stadium in Omaha, Nebraska, the new WBC Heavyweight Champ can do some heavy numbers in Alabama with the right challenger in front of him. -Randy G.


-Skibbz :

For a second I thought he was going to defend his title in his back yard vs that nutter he banged up in his gym... Wilder should be fighting as often as possible before the young tigers around the world start lining up at his door, the two fight a year plan isn't the best option for every fighter in the world.


-Radam G :

So true, King Beef. So true. There are also the haters who will come to a Wilder-Tyson Fury match just to see Wilder get his head knocked off to the goal line at Bryant-Denny Stadium. The powers-that-be are already having discussions with local politicians and the University of 'Bama to put Wilder's first defense there. If Terence Crawford could fill a stadium in Omaha, Nebraska, the new WBC Heavyweight Champ can do some heavy numbers in Alabama with the right challenger in front of him. -Randy G.
Omaha, Neb. is not the racist South -- old or new. It is the Wild, Wild West where there has always been blacks drawing whites to their sporting events. Don't forget after the U.S. Civil War that most of the law men in Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Iowa and Idaho were black cowboys. These places never had a problem with supporting black athletes. Their universities were the firsts in letting black athlete perform in a lot of things. They even beat the North with tolerance of black athletes and performers. Don't forget that the first black heavyweight world champion was "Big Smoke" from Texas. And Promoter Tex Rickard -- a nephew of the then U.S. Prez -- set up the battle with "Great White Hope" in Cali and said that nobody was going lynch or mess with "My boy -- My [N-word]." TR didn't PLAY! He had Texas outlaws, in-laws and the Texas Rangers and Cali-Tex cut-throats ready to throw down and chin check any racist who even looked at "Unforgivable Blackness" Jack Johnson the wrong way. I'm not going to back down from this one, Commish. What happened with T-Craw does not compare to what "ain't" -- a Southern U.S. mainland favortie word -- going to happen with D-Wild. Bama is not ready for him. FIRST! He got the wrong tude for the Southern groove. And he has the wrong complexion for the selection. He best look in a different direction. Holla!