Johnny Nelson believes Deontay Wilder will never box again. The former cruiserweight world champion claims that Wilder’s most recent knockout loss to Tyson Fury has finished him off and that he doesn’t need the money, nor does he have the passion for the sport to motivate a return.
Wilder recently announced that he will be stepping back into the ring in 2022 for the first time since losing his trilogy fight to Fury back in October of last year. Reports suggest that his team are targeting an autumn bout against fellow PBC heavyweight Robert Helenius.
But those plans look to be in jeopardy as ‘The Nordic Nightmare’ attempts to force his way into a fight against the winner of Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk. Back in 2020, Helenius knocked out Adam Kownacki in a WBA final eliminator to determine the next mandatory challenger for the WBA (super) belt – currently held by Usyk.
Despite establishing himself at the front of the queue for a shot at the title, Helenius has since dropped to No 2 in the sanctioning bodies rankings and is currently behind No 1 ranked Michael Hunter and WBA (regular) champion Daniel Dubois in the pecking order.
With the Finnish heavyweight feeling clearly hard done by, he is now consulting lawyers about mounting legal action against the WBA, placing a fight with the ‘Bronze Bomber’ in serious doubt. Wilder can of course seek an alternative opponent, but Nelson – who now works as a Sky Sports pundit – doesn’t believe the American will fight at all. Talking to iFL TV ‘The Entertainer’ weighed in on the former WBC champion’s chances of a return.
He said: “Deontay Wilder said he’s coming back to boxing. I think I heard this a good few months ago, I still doubt it and the reason why I still doubt it is because Deontay still fights with a lot of pride involved so I think the Tyson Fury fight really hurt his pride. He’s not a great lover of our sport so when he’s out, he’s out. He ain’t watching all this sort of stuff and he’s a very very wealthy man so it’s about motivation.
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“Look at Andy Ruiz. How many fights has he had since he lost to Anthony Joshua? Is it one? And so, what’s happened is this guy has amassed a completely different lifestyle for he and his family so his hunger and his desire has changed.
“Now, I’m not saying that has made a difference to Deontay Wilder, what’s made a difference is the fact that the persona that he believed in himself in regards to being the baddest man on the planet has now been broken and that was the one thing that helped drive him on. So, now knowing he’s not the baddest man on the planet and having all those millions to go back to he’s thinking he don’t have to do this.”