Should Deontay Wilder Be Punished For His Controversial Death Threats?

By James Slater - 05/17/2019 - Comments

As fans may have read by now, the WBC will hold a hearing some time soon, to look into the controversial, some say utterly disgraceful, words Deontay Wilder has come out with, and has been coming out with (for some months now) in regard to his next opponent, Dominic Breazeale. WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman released a short statement to this effect:

“I have seen Deontay Wilder’s comments, which are regrettable and completely against the spirit of our sport,” Sulaiman wrote on social media. “I have known Wilder for a long time, and he is not the person he portrays in such comments. His metaphors are against the WBC code of ethics and will be addressed in a hearing.”

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So, should Wilder face any punishment for saying what he has said – “I want a body on my record.” “The Least I can do is pay for the funeral [of Breazeale]” and “It will be a massacre on Saturday night” being three examples of Wilder’s harsh words – or do you take the view that Wilder, and any other fighter, is free to say what he wants? Wilder himself obviously takes this view; as he explained whilst being interview by Stephen. A Smith:

“What have I said that any fighter that has came before me hasn’t said?” Wilder asked Smith. “There’s one particular individual who said way more worse things than I could ever say in one sentence!” (most people feel Wilder was referring to a certain Mike Tyson). “I speak my piece. This is a sport where we sign up with. This is the sport that I signed up to do. I risk my life in that ring. So as me, as an individual, to risk my life for other’s entertainment, I can say whatever I please!..I’m doing this for other’s entertainment. People can take my words as what they want. If they don’t like it, don’t watch it.

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“But nothing I said that ain’t true, nothing I said that hasn’t been said before. So why people wanna take it into consideration now? Look what’s going on in the world, Stephen A. People wanna put that energy towards the words that I say but look what’s going on in the world with so many killings going on right now. So many different brutalities going on right now but I don’t see nobody putting no energy and having no qualms to try to resolve that. How many innocent killings has been going on? Ain’t nobody putting any energy towards that but they wanna say something when I say [something]? Get outta here with that!”

Again, should Wilder be free to say what he wants, in a country that of course practices a freedom of speech policy, or should he be punished for saying what he has said? It will be interesting to see what punishment, if any, Wilder receives from the WBC. Wilder hasn’t been caught taking PEDs and he hasn’t physically assaulted anyone. Are we being far too sensitive? After all, Wilder is a fighter and not all fighters are able to control their emotions ahead of a big fight; especially one that has genuine bad blood attached, as is the case here.

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