Wilder: Boxing has missed me more than I have missed boxing

By Sports Desk December 22, 2023

Deontay Wilder claims boxing has missed him more than he has missed the sport during his time away.

Wilder, a former WBC heavyweight champion, is set to fight Joseph Parker in Saudi Arabia on Saturday in his first fight since October 2022.

His last bout was a first round knockout of Robert Helenius, his first fight since losing the third meeting with Tyson Fury in their epic trilogy.

Wilder claims he has not missed the sport during his time out of the ring, telling Stats Perform: "I've been enjoying my life.

"I've been enjoying all my children and enjoying all the loved ones and all my brothers that's been around, so life hasn't been bad for me. It's been amazing.

"So I can't say that I miss it. When you're having so much fun outside of the ring, how can you miss anything when you have so much love around you?

"I think boxing has missed me more than I have missed boxing."

Saturday's fight with Parker could offer Wilder a way back into the heavyweight title picture, with reports that a two-fight deal with Anthony Joshua, who is fighting Otto Wallin on the same card, has been agreed ahead of this weekend's event in Riyadh.

Any slip-ups this weekend will likely spell trouble for that agreement, but Wilder is feeling confident ahead of his fight, saying: "Camp has been amazing. My whole team has been amazing. Being here in Riyadh has been amazing.

"We've put in the rounds and we're ready to go. They say when you put in the work, you have no doubts in yourself.

"When you turn all stones, there's no doubt. And I've done that and more, especially in this short period of time. I'm very proud of myself, of what I've been able to achieve in a short amount of time.

"I think the world is going to be very excited and they're going to be surprised at what their eyes will see come Saturday night.

"I am looking forward to Saturday night. I'm always excited to get back in the ring, to put on a great performance, to knock someone out as people come to see me knock them out."

Wilder has received criticism for comments he has made in the past, once saying he wanted to kill a man in the ring to "put a body" on his record.

Wilder feels the backlash of those comments is unfair, explaining: "Sometimes I have to hold my words of what I want to say because, you know, when I say certain things, I get criticised, I get stones thrown at me.

"But if somebody else says the same thing, they don't have the same punishment. I think because when I say certain things, I think because people know that I can actually do it, then they cast stones at me.

"But they're just as guilty because you pay to watch it, see it happen. So if I speak it, you're paying to see it. So you're just as guilty as I [am] saying it."

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