The Deontay Wilder we all know and love now, the unstoppable, moody, tattooed boxing heavyweight, hasn’t always been this way.
Wilder’s brash arrogance wasn’t always the case either.
Back at the Olympic Games in 2008, he appeared shy in front of the camera, a far cry from what he is today.
The Bronze Bomber has been undefeated in his professional career, knocking out all but two opponents in his 43 fights.
The one man he hasn’t defeated, Tyson Fury, will meet him in the squared circle once more on February 22 in Las Vegas after their draw in December 2018.
This was a far cry from the start of Wilder’s boxing journey, when he made the decision to abandon dreams of the NBA and dropped out of college.
He spun the plates of three jobs and became a father at the age of just 19. Soon, he met trainer Jay Deas, who enlisted him on the path to begin boxing training, and this led him to the Olympics in Beijing with an amateur record of 30-5.
The Bronze Bomber would collect, yes, bronze in 2008 after a semi-final defeat to the Italian Clemente Russo.
His 6’7” frame demands he adheres to a wide reach, yet he proved more gangly than powerful. The power in his arms would come to the surface later on in his career, with 41 knockouts from 43 fights.
Wilder, in an interview with AL.com, revealed his secret to generating that power was dietary-based rather than work on the weights.
“I eat me a good breakfast from pancakes, to Polish sausage, to patty sausage and some good eggs.
“One morning I will eat egg McMuffins and it will rotate throughout breakfast time with that.
“I come back again at 11.30am, eat a nice Alfredo chicken pasta with corn on the cob, maybe have some nice garlic bread toasted alongside that with a protein shake.
“I will also have a protein shake in the morning with the breakfast. [At] 2pm will be a sandwich, you know, maybe ham and cheese, maybe tuna, with two boiled eggs.
“The 5pm [meal] will consist of a Salisbury steak, with mashed potatoes and green beans and I eat a lot of red potatoes; I eat a lot of yams.
“And then at 7.30pm, I have a nice T-Bone steak, some more red potatoes, we might have some squash in there and some green beans.”
In Wilder’s first pro fight in 2008, a win over Ethan Cox, the Bronze Bomber weighed in at 14st 8lbs and he has gained almost a stone since, weighing 13lbs more prior to his last fight with Luis Ortiz.