Former World Boxing Champion Deontay Wilder has disclosed that he has traced his roots to Edo State, Nigeria.
“I want to go back and learn more about my culture and information with things about me,” says the Bronze Bomber in a viral YouTube video seen by Peoples Gazette on Saturday.
Mr Wilder, who has never been to Nigeria, said he wants to return to Edo state in Nigeria to learn a little more about his roots.
“Once I’m done with what I’m doing, I’m going back to see my tribe Edo,” Wilder said.
“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,” he added.
The U.S. based professional boxer enjoyed a 5-year reign as the WBC heavyweight champion between 2015 and 2020, losing his strap in a bout with Tyson Fury in February, 2020.
It is not immediately clear if Wilder’s realisation of his roots informed his moniker, “Bronze Bomber.” The Binis are known for their expertise in bronze works. Many ancient Benin bronze carvings were carted away to the West during colonial raids.
After suffering his first professional defeat at the hand of Fury in a seven round bout last February, the former WBC champion will in July seek to reclaim his title as he takes on Fury for the third time.
The fight is billed to be held at the T-Mobile Arena in Nevada on July 24 and the winner would challenge Anthony Joshua.
Nigeria has been a force in world boxing since the 1940’s, producing top boxers like Dick Tiger and Hogan Bassey; both undisputed world champions, Tiger at middle and light heavyweight, and Bassey at featherweight.
The country has continued to maintain its dominance in the world of boxing today, producing world champions like Anthony Joshua, and Deontay Wilder.