Former World Boxing Council (WBC) heavyweight champion, Deontay Wilder, has revealed that he has his ancestry in Edo State, Nigeria.
Speaking in a YouTube video that went viral at the weekend, Wilder admitted tracing his roots to Edo and promised he would love to come back home to learn about the culture of the place.
“I want to go back and learn more about my culture and information with things about me. Once I’m done with what I’m doing, I’m going back to see my tribe, Edo.
“I want to see my culture and my ancestors and learn a lot of things. We all have lots of things that we are connected to that we know nothing about. I’ll love to go there and do research about my roots and my tribe,” observed Wilder in the video.
Wilder, who adopted the moniker “Bronze Bomber”, enjoyed a five-year reign as the WBC heavyweight champion between 2015 and 2020, losing his strap in a bout with British heavyweight champion Tyson Fury in February 2020.
They both have signed a dealfor a third world heavyweight title fight in Las Vegas on July 24.
The Britain’s WBC champion was ordered by an arbitration court to face Wilder next, thereby disrupting plans for an undisputed world heavyweight unification clash against Nigerian-born British WBA, IBF and WBO champion Anthony Joshua.
It is not immediately clear if Wilder’s realisation of his roots informed his moniker, “Bronze Bomber.”
Another Edo-born Mixed Martial Art UFC Welterweight champion, Kamaru Usman is presently on visit to Nigeria after over 20 years absence.
Fondly called the “Nigerian Nightmare”, Kamaru has promised to assist youths in the country reach their potentials through the funding of a mixed martial art academy.
Several top boxers with successful careers in the heavyweight category have their roots in Nigeria. Apart from Joshua, Samuel Peters, Herbie Hyde and Ike Ibeabuchi, Efe Ajagba’s career is gradually gathering steam.