Even boxing superfan LL Cool J can call it a comeback.
Deontay Wilder will return to the ring one year after suffering his second career loss to Tyson Fury when the former heavyweight champion takes on Robert Helenius at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York on Oct. 15 headlining a FOX pay-per-view.
The decision for the former WBC heavyweight champion to announce his return was a drawn-out one that featured plenty of contemplation.
Although Wilder endured brutal fights and knockouts against Fury, the Bronze Bomber beleives he still has plenty left to give to boxing.
“I know I’m great,” Wilder told Kenneth Bouhairie and Michael Rosenthal on the PBC Podcast.
“I have three, maybe four years left, and then I’m completely done. I’ve done great with my finances. I make more money outside of the ring than inside of the ring. To even get in the ring, I need to have a certain minimum. It feels good to make a decision about when and what you want to do. I’m not coming back to the sport because I need to. And it’s a great feeling to be on the opposite side because most of the time [other boxers] need money.”
The devastating knockout artist who’ll turn 37 years old one week after the Helemius fight said he disconnected from boxing during his break.
“I didn’t at all [keep up with anything in the sport]. My wife goes to fights and watches way more than I do. When I’m away, I’m away. I go missing in action on purpose. I’m a renaissance man. I’m more than just boxing. I’m more than just an athlete,” said Wilder.
The 2004 United States Olympics bronze medalist got bronzed back home in Alabama in May, and during the period he got honored with a statue, he was already warming up to the idea of a comeback.
Wilder has been based in Las Vegas recently and has been training as well.
“At the end of the day, I knew that I had to come back because I motivate and inspire so many around the world. So here I am. I’m very excited to come back to Brooklyn and continue to present my greatness to the world,” said Wilder.
“I’ve been enjoying myself with my family, kids, and loved ones. It was a hard decision of coming back. What I should do? Basically what I wanted to do. Now I’m here … I got the blessing from my family, and basically that’s all I need. Now I’m ready to inspire and motivate. You’re looking at a guy who has it all, and I say that with a smile.”
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com or on www.ManoukAkopyan.com.