Deontay Wilder ‘close to retiring’ before returning to boxing ring’

Deontay Wilder was considering a life of daddy day care before he was lured back to the ring – and now he plans to send Anthony Joshua into retirement.

The American heavyweight, 38, has fought only once since his 2021 defeat by Tyson Fury which left his own career in the balance.

Wilder considered hanging up the gloves until he attended a statue unveiling in his hometown of Tuscaloosa in Alabama which inspired him to return.

But his only fight since was a one-round demolition of Robert Helenius 14 months ago. Now he is gearing up for Saturday’s fight against Joseph Parker here in Saudi Arabia.

Despite fears he had fallen into depression following the brutal back-to-back defeats by Fury, Wilder insists it was purely family time away from the cameras.

The former WBC heavyweight champion said: “I was close to retiring. I just started enjoying my family a little bit more.

“I have eight children. I was able to be more involved, more active in their lives.

“It was very enjoyable to see my youngest children grow and take them on certain trips, like camping, going on certain adventures with them and seeing their interests in life and what they think about certain things.

“A lot of people say, ‘Is he depressed? There are so many things going on with him, what’s wrong?’. I tell them it’s none of those things.

“There’s nothing I do now that I haven’t done before. The way I run my life is because I’m happy and at peace. Because of how I came up with nothing, I appreciate everything.

“The smallest little thing in life, the smallest bit of everything, it comes and it goes.

READ MORE Anthony Joshua branded ‘p****’ by heavyweight rival in brutal war of words

“Money comes slow and it goes fast. You have to appreciate the simplicity of life. Life is not promised. I’ve always enjoyed my family, the people around me, and that’s the secret to having a happy life.”

Wilder’s career path has now led him to Saudi and the riches on offer, with a proposed clash with Joshua pencilled in for March 9.

First he has to ensure Parker becomes his 44th victim as he eyes up a 43rd knockout win to put those two losses against Fury further in the rear-view mirror.

Wilder said: “I’m in a great place, a happy place, and I envision knocking him out. I’m the Bronze Bomber. Men and women lie but numbers don’t.

“Joseph Parker said he’s very confident and coming to win and knock me out, but I find that hard to believe because you have this confidence as a challenger but not as champion.

“A lot of these guys are scared of what I’m going to do. It’s not just words. It’s my true actions. “The numbers do not lie. When you see that, it puts fears in you knowing you could be next.”

But while Wilder’s focus is back on boxing and the fortune he will earn for facing Joshua next year, if all goes to plan this weekend, he has still got his mind on extending his family from the five girls and three boys he has.

“I have eight,” he said. “I want four more, 12 is an even number for me.”

● Day of Reckoning, on Saturday, as part of Riyadh Season, will be available live on DAZN and TNT Sports Box Office. Visit

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