Deontay Wilder was the Cinderella story of the amateur boxing season, rising from obscurity to not only win the National Golden Gloves and US Championships, but to earn a Bronze medal at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China, the United States’ only boxing medal.
But Wilder’s compelling story doesn’t begin there; it begins in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where he was a stellar athlete in high school who had the opportunity to play college football and basketball. But his priorities were elsewhere, mainly with his daughter Naieya, who he worked two jobs to support. Times were tough though, especially considering that Naieya was born with spinal bifida and required additional medical care.
So Wilder turned to boxing in 2005, knowing that his talents would eventually serve him well. And he was right. With just 14 bouts under his belt, Wilder roared through the National Golden Gloves and US Championships in 2007, and he eventually won the Olympic trials with just 21 total amateur bouts. His improbable run continued in this summer’s Beijing Games, where he won two bouts before losing a semifinal decision to Italy’s Clemente Russo. Back home with a Bronze medal in his hand, Wilder got ready for the next chapter of this amazing story, teaming up with Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions to help him on his road to gold as a professional.
2007 National Golden Gloves Heavyweight Champion
2007 United States Amateur Heavyweight Champion
2007 U.S. heavyweight representative at the World Championships in Chicago, USA. Results were:
1st round - Lost to Krzysztof Zimnoch (Poland) (20-23)
2008 Qualified as a heavyweight for the United States Olympic Team. Results were:
Defeated Anthony Tettis (19-9)
Defeated Joe Guzman (26-14)
Defeated Quantis Graves (11-7)
Defeated Quantis Graves (12-9) at the Box-offs
2008 Heavyweight Bronze Medalist for the United States at the Olympics in Beijing, China. Results were:
1st Round - Defeated Abdelaziz Toulbini (Algeria) (10-4)
Quarterfinals - Defeated Mohamed Arjaoui (Morocco) (+10-10)
Semifinals - Lost to Clemente Russo (Italy) (1-7)