Where has the time gone? It might come as a little bit of a surprise, but Deontay Wilder has now been the proud holder of the WBC heavyweight title for getting on five long years (it was of course January of 2015 when Wilder decisioned Bermane Stiverne to take the green belt). A substantial amount of time at the top enjoyed, Wilder has registered ten title retentions, his numbers very impressive.
In fact, Wilder has ruled the division (albeit with just one belt, not as undisputed champ) longer than legends such as George Foreman (less than two years in career-one, less than a year in career-two), Mike Tyson (a little over three years) and Rocky Marciano (four years). No, this does not mean Wilder is a better fighter than these special heavyweights, but at the same time he has every right to feel proud of his accomplishments.
In terms of number of succesful and successive world title defences managed, Wilder has equaled the number the peak Muhammad Ali achieved, with 10 (although Ali, had he not been stripped for refusing to serve in Vietnam, would certainly have gone on to retain his world title for a longer period). Wilder has also retained his title more times than the primed and peaking Mike Tyson managed to retain his belt or belts, nine times.
Again, this does not mean Wilder is a greater fighter than these luminaries, but fans and experts are now wondering how longer Wilder can stay at the top, how many more defences he can make.
In terms of records to beat, Joe Louis is king of the defences, at a remarkable 25, Larry Holmes comes in at second place with 20, while Wladimir Klitschko comes in third with 18 retentions. Are any of these numbers within Wilder’s reach? Maybe 18, which means eight more for a tie and nine more for Wilder to top Klitschko’s numbers.
Wilder, 42-0-1(41) said recently that he plans on fighting for a further six years, until he hits 40. Time is on Deontay’s side and just maybe he can go on and put himself in the record books in a big, big way.