The Strange Case of Deontay Wilder, The Last US Olympic Medalist

Deontay Wilder was the sole US Olympic Medalist in boxing from the Beijing Olympics of 2008, the only bright spot among that ill fated Olympic squad.

He won a bronze medal, so perhaps flew under the American radar upon his return given the poor showing by the rest of the team, a far cry from the gold medal bonanzas Americans used to gather in as their birthright in the glory days of yore.

The Bronze Bomber

The Bronze Bomber

Deontay sorta came out of nowhere to win a pair of national amateur titles before qualifying for the Olympics and nabbing a bronze, so he has a limited amateur background. Call him a George Foreman Lite since George surprised a lot of folks by taking gold in 1968 with a very limited amateur background before turning pro.

Difference between Big George’s pro career and Wilder is that Foreman started off facing some pretty stiff competition and quickly became a ranked and greatly feared fighter.

Young Wilder is a month away from turning 25, the start of traditional athletic peak years and coming up on 2 yrs as a pro while sporting an 11-0, 11 KO record. Sounds great, right?

So, in 4 yrs he’d be 22-0, 22 KO and a ranked fighter, right?

WRONG!

He might well be 22-0, 22 KO, but he won’t be within a light year from landing a ranking by facing the poor opposition he’s been feasting on. His last two opponents were 400 and 300 pounders respectively. The 400 pounder had never beaten a fighter who had won a single fight and is so poor that not even boxrec will rank him. The 300 pounder is just under a 500th boxrec ranking, meaning there are almost 500 fighters around the world ranked ahead of him.

I’m sure there are many more qualified folks than I in boxing wondering how Wilder can develop into a contender fighting such morbidly weak fighters?

It’s not like he doesn’t have a strong team behind him either.  Mark Breland is his trainer and is arguably the best amateur boxer in US history, an Olympic Gold Medalist and two time WBA welter champ, so he has some chops. Wilder is managed by Shelly Finkel and promoted by Golden Boy Promotions, high profile insiders.

Did Golden Boy blow a golden opportunity this Saturday to feature The Last US Olympic Medalist as the headliner in Las Vegas on an otherwise dreary weekend in boxing that sees him buried in Mississippi fighting another 38 yr old no hoper flirting with a 600th boxrec ranking?

And Mark Breland relocated from Brooklyn to Mississippi to train Breland for this?

Really?

Or is Deontay Wilder simply not interested in doing more than exploring the bottomless depths of boxing’s empty barrel?

Shame is that he’s a very long, lean, handsome, telegenic type of kid that Americans desperate for a glimmer of hope in the heavy division could really get behind, but the general public has just flat out never seen him or forgot about him if they had even heard of him.

The most damning, obscene words imaginable fail to capture the depths that the long time dominant American Big Man in boxing has fallen into for this and future eras it would appear.

There is HUGE $$$,$$$,$$$ to be made for the next American heavyweight champ, but apparently all you can eat buffets and soft opposition that they can gum are more inviting with this generation.

Nobody with any sense expects the kid to necessarily be fighting fringe contenders in his 2nd full year of professional boxing, but the kid is moving backwards at a faster rate than he’s moving forward. He’s being de-evolved as a prospect, and nowhere near being a contender in this lifetime.

Well, it’s his life and his career and he and his handlers can do with it what they may, but it remains a mystery for a fighter known as the Bronze Bomber.

Who?

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