Deontay Wilder (born October 22, 1985 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama) is an American heavyweight boxer best known for winning two major national titles in 2007 and for being the only American boxer to win a medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics.
Wilder started boxing in October 2005 and in 2007 upset the favorites to win both the National Golden Gloves and the US championships at 201 lbs(91 kg).
He graduated from Tuscaloosa Central High School in 2004 and dreamed of playing football (wide receiver) or basketball(forward) for the hometown Crimson Tide, but the birth of his daughter Naieya (b.2005), who suffers from a spinal condition and grade issues forced him to attend nearby Shelton State Community College and to focus on a boxing career.
At the Golden Gloves he defeated highly touted cadet world champion Isiah Thomas a southpaw of Detroit and David Thompson, of Brooklyn, N.Y in the finals. At the US championship he defeated Quantis Graves and won the final 31-15 over southpaw James Zimmerman of San Jose, Calif.
At the Olympic Trials he beat Graves two more times and won the Olympic Trials with only 21 bouts. At the final of the world championships 2007 he defeated Poland’s Krzysztof Zimnoch by a KO.
Early in 2008 he scored a career best win by edging out World Gold medalist and future Olympic champion Rakhim Chakhiyev in Russia in a Duals.
He qualified for the Olympics by beating Deivis Julio 6:5 Jorge Quinones from Ecuador on double countback and Brazilian Rafael Lima 6:5 at the qualifier.
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