Wednesday, May 6, 2015
Deontay Wilder to Headline the first Heavyweight Title Fight in Alabama History!
Deontay Wilder, 33-0 (32-KO) WBC Heavyweight Champion of the World will defend his title June 13th at the Bartow Arena in Birmingham on Showtime. Details are still being ironed out but Wilder is already in training for the huge event. Stay tuned for more info on Deontay's opponent and undercard action.
Friday, April 11, 2014
Deontay Wilder & Skyy Boxing Gym Present: Young Guns
It is easy in today’s sports world for athletes to lose connection with where they come from. In most cases it is because most small town athletes never play in their hometowns after high school and move to big cities with major teams. For Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder, home has never left his mind or heart. Due to the nature of professional boxing, having boxers fight all over the world, there is no specific place one has to live in order to compete. Growing up in Tuscaloosa, Ala., Wilder had a determination to make a name for himself and allowing nothing to get in his way. Wilder’s career couldn’t be better boasting an undefeated 31-0 record while winning all by knockout, but with all of his success home was always where he came back to.
Living his life by his own creed of “When you give God the glory, He’ll give you the victory,” Wilder has great confidence in what his abilities can achieve. No matter the success he humbly remembers from where he comes. When it came time to pick a location for his first promotional event “Young Guns”, there was only one suitable place, Tuscaloosa.
“Jay (Deas) actually gave me the opportunity to say ‘Hey what do you think about doing your show in Tuscaloosa teaming up with Skyy Promotions’ and I said yeah let’s do it,” Deontay Wilder said.
Young Guns is an event Wilder put together to help promote young amateur and up and coming professional boxers from the area. The event took place at Bowers Park in Tuscaloosa on April 5, 2014 and hosted well-known local boxers. Among the amateur boxers there was the 2013-14 Alabama Golden Glove Middleweight champion KeEric Hinton, while in the professional ranks Tuscaloosa’s own Keith Thompson fought in the second to last fight and Tuscaloosa native Keandrae “Lightning” Leatherwood headlined the event.
Fans were enthusiastic about the event from the first amateur fight at 7 pm to Keandrae Leatherwood’s main event at 10:30 pm. The fights were held to four rounds, except for the main event fight which was scheduled for six rounds, but despite the short length of the fights there were electric fights. There were four fights which ended before the conclusion of the first round, including Leatherwood’s astonishing knockout one minute and ten seconds into the main event. During local boxer, Keith Thompson’s fight the crowd began a chanting “Keith” in support of Thompson.
When Deontay Wilder walked into the ring to talk about his event, the roof came off the building. Many of the people may not have known who some of the boxers competing in the event where, but to have a local icon such as Wilder puts on a boxing event and doesn’t compete and still the event gets a good turn-out shows the level of admiration he has in the community.
“I’ve been talking about doing a promotion for a long time, and the opportunity presented itself. We came out with this and Young Guns, to me it’s a success,” Wilder said. “Do to the fact that people knew I wasn’t fighting and they still turned out and showed support and love, that means a lot to me and that meant a lot for the local fighters.”
Wilder took time out of a busy schedule to give back to the community he loves, to promote the young boxers but to also say thank you to his fans. As soon as he walked into the arena fans were running up to him for pictures and autographs and Wilder obliged everyone person who came up to him. Where most celebrities would sign a few items and snap a couple pictures, Wilder took the time to have true conversations with anyone that wanted to talk to him, and he himself walked around the entire gym thanking everyone for supporting the event.
In his professional career things could not be bigger at the moment, Wilder just defeated Malik Scott to move one step closer to the top of the boxing world. On May 10, 2014 his wait will finally be over when Bermane Stiverne and Chris Arreola fight to decide who will take Vitali Klitschko’s vacant title and fight Wilder to decide the champion. This will bring Wilder one step closer of achieving his dream of crowning Tuscaloosa its first ever heavyweight champion.
“It’s going to be a dream come true. I will definitely be there at that fight front and center to let the winner know here I am, here’s your prize. I don’t know if that’s a good prize or bad prize but this is what you get,” Wilder said. “We’ve come a long way, it’s been a long process, but it seems like every things gone by so fast. We are final here fighting for the major belt the WBC World title, to bring that back to Title Town is going to be crazy. We have had a lot of had a lot of national champions, we have never had a world champion. I’ve got to bring it back.”
Sunday, April 6, 2014
Wilder's First Promotion a Success
Heavyweight contender Deontay Wilder didn’t get to see much of the action in his first promotion. He was too busy meeting fans and taking pictures as the mob at the Belk Center in Tuscaloosa, Alabama followed his every step. “I sincerely want to thank everyone who came out to make the event such a success. It was great to meet and talk to everyone and hear their words of encouragement. They want the next heavyweight champion of the world to be from Alabama,” said Wilder.
In the main event, Tuscaloosa native Keandrae Leatherwood (14-2-1, 10 KOs) landed a picture perfect left hook to the body of Mickey “Time Bomb” Scarborough (8-9, 8 KOs) halfway through the first round to score the knockout. Scarborough tried to beat the count but couldn’t. “It may have been the best body shot I’ve ever thrown,” said Leatherwood. “Fighting at home for the first time, there’s nothing like it.”
Pierre Webster UD4 Michael Doyle
Keith Thompson UD4 Derek Walker
Tom Howard TKO1 Anthony Middlebrooks
Gary Kelly TKO3 Willie Kyles
Justin Brunetti UD4 Carlos Dumas
Rashad Jones TKO4 Corey Harris
Wilder promoted the event with longtime coach/manager Jay Deas.
KeAndrae Leatherwood scores first-round knockout
By D.C. Reeves
Published: Saturday, April 5, 2014 at 3:30 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, April 6, 2014 at 12:21 a.m.
The homecoming spotlight didn't last long, but that's just fine with KeAndrae Leatherwood.
The Tuscaloosa native knocked out Mickey Scarborough in the first round to cap the “Young Guns” boxing show at the Belk Activity Center at Bowers Park on Saturday night.
Leatherwood, a middleweight who headlined the local fight night promoted by world heavyweight contender and fellow Tuscaloosan Deontay Wilder, used his trademark fast hands to deliver a flurry of punches to Scarborough's body with a left uppercut to the body being the final blow.
Scarborough collapsed to the canvas and couldn't even get to one foot during the 10-count.
“I hit him with a great body shot, it may have been the best body shot I ever threw,” said Leatherwood, who moves to 14-2-1 with the win. Scarborough fell to 7-8.
The event was Wilder's first as a co-promoter. He promoted it alongside Skyy Boxing owner Jay Deas, Wilder's co-trainer. Wilder was on hand signing autographs, taking pictures and took to the ring between fights to pump up the fans.
“It was great, I feel like it was a success,” said Wilder, who is in line for a shot at the World Boxing Council world heavyweight title in the coming months. “It's a great feeling to see all of these people here as well. The only bad thing about it is it makes me want to get in the ring.”
Leatherwood, who trains in the Atlanta area, was happy to get the win, albeit a quick one, in front of a supportive crowd.
“It was a great experience, I want to thank all the fans who came out,” Leatherwood said. “The atmosphere, there's nothing like being at home. I love being at home. It's just a great experience when you can come home and put on a show for the hometown fans.”
Young Guns Boxing Results
n Tom Howard def. Anthony Middlebrooks by first-round TKO
n Rashad Jones def. Corey Harris by fourth-round TKO
n Gary Kelly def. Willie Kyles by third-round TKO
n Justin Brunetti def. Carlos Dumas by unanimous decision
n Pierre Webster def. Michael Doyle by unanimous decision
n Keith Thompson def. Derek Walker by unanimous decision
n KeAndrae Leatherwood def. Mickey Scarbrough by first-round knockout
Reach D.C. Reeves at email@example.com or 205-722-0196.
Wilder Promotes First Show In Alabama
While heavyweight contender Deontay Wilder (31-0, 31 KOs) awaits the winner of the vacant WBC heavyweight title fight between Chris Arreola vs. Bermaine Stiverne, he is staying busy by promoting his first show this Saturday in his native Alabama. Wilder’s Bombzquad Promotions is teaming with longtime manager/trainer Jay Deas’ Skyy Promotions to present “Young Guns.” The six bout card is being held at the Belk Center in Wilder’s home town of Tuscaloosa. “Deontay will be the first to tell you that many people stepped up to help him on his journey and this is his way of giving back. I’ve never been more proud of him,” said Deas. “The show features young, up and coming talent that without shows like this may never see the light of day.”
Keandrae “Lightning” Leatherwood (13-2-1, 9 KOs), a former amateur national champion and Tuscaloosa native headlines in a six round bout against hard hitting Mickey “Time Bomb” Scarborough (8-8, 8 KOs) of Kansas City. Leatherwood served as a sparring partner for Saul “Canelo” Alverez in his failed attempt to defeat Floyd Mayweather.
“I want to thank Deontay and Jay for giving us a platform to showcase our skills. I’m getting married next weekend and my family is on me about not getting marked up before the wedding pictures so I’ve gotta take care of business,” said Leatherwood.
Also on the show is former amateur standout and Roy Jones Sr. -guided fighter Pierre Webster.
“I’m expecting these guys to bring it. When somebody gives you a chance you have to take advantage of it,” said Wilder.
How Deontay Wilder felt when he first walked into Skyy Boxing Gym
By: Kevin Lole
Deontay Wilder repeatedly refers to "The Plan" that has guided his boxing career. He'll soon fight for the heavyweight title, and adhering to "The Plan" has brought him to the precipice.
But there wasn't much of a plan when Wilder was a 19-year-old at Shelton State Community College in Tuscaloosa, Ala. He was desperate to find a way to support his young daughter, Naieya, who was born in 2005 with spina bifida.
He was nearly 6 feet 7 inches and almost 230 pounds. He looked like he would have been a natural for his hometown Alabama Crimson Tide.
He'd been in numerous street fights in his lifetime – "I never looked for trouble," he says, "but trouble always seemed to find me." – and in seventh grade, he was sent to a school for at-risk youth.
]Wilder paid little to no attention to boxing. When he was at Shelton State, he brainstormed with a friend about ways to support Naieya. He suggested he might box, because of his street-fighting ability.
"I told a friend in college that I would not be attending any more and that playing sports was out the window, too, because I had this new responsibility I had to take care of," Wilder said. "I had to go get a job. I said I should start boxing, because money-wise, man, how was I going to support my daughter?"
I was ignorant to the sport. I thought every fighter who stepped into the ring made a lot of money. I figured these guys were getting on TV and if they were on TV, they had to be making a lot of money. I knew I was a good fighter, street-wise, and I told him I thought should start boxing. He thought it was a great idea."
That was the real plan, and as harebrained as it might have seemed to many, it worked. And thus was born a career that could end with a world heavyweight championship. Remarkably, Wilder did it with little experience. He earned his spot on the 2008 U.S. Olympic team by winning the Olympic Trials in just his 21st fight.
He earned a bronze medal – the only boxing medal the U.S. won in 2008 – at the Beijing games.
He racked up knockout after knockout after turning pro, and raised his record to 31-0 with 31 knockouts when he blew out Malik Scott in the first round of a March 15 bout in Puerto Rico.
Wilder will fight the winner of the May 10 bout for the vacant WBC heavyweight title between Chris Arreola and Bermane Stiverne.
The journey toward the top started in a tiny gym called Skyy Boxing in Northport, Ala. Wilder was so fixated on football and basketball, he didn't know the place existed.
The first time he entered the gym, though, he felt at home. He walked through the door and stopped to observe the scene. He took in the surroundings of the tiny gym and felt it was where he belonged.
"I never thought in a million years a boxing gym would be here in Tuscaloosa," Wilder said. "Never once did I think of it. I had been sold on the tradition of college football and basketball and it was like my mind and eyes were shut and I was blind to any other things that were out there.
"When I walked into that gym, it was amazing what my eyes were exposed to. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. I knew little about boxing and I knew nothing about amateur boxing. I knew Muhammad Ali won gold and stuff, but I didn't even know it was amateur."
Despite his lack of knowledge of boxing, there was something right about the way he felt in the gym.
To this day, he can't put his finger on exactly what it was, but it appealed to him at a very personal level.
"I went in there and to feel that moment when I walked in the doors of the gym, I said, 'This is it. This is it,' " he recalled. "Everything felt so great. I heard these sounds in my ears of the guys sparring and the heavy bags being hit, the speed bags. The sound, the sights, the way it felt, I just knew I had to pick up the gloves and get started. The rest is history."
It was a remarkable achievement to win an Olympic medal a little more than two years after he started to box. And then as a pro, he's reeled off win after win, though not without some controversy.
That's where "The Plan" comes in again. Wilder has taken a lot of criticism in his boxing career, which is odd considering he owns an Olympic medal and has 31 knockouts in 31 fights as a professional.
Although his level of opposition as a pro has largely been poor, he's never wavered despite the mounting criticism. He is not your typical Olympic medalist because he didn't have hundreds upon hundreds of amateur bouts and years of experience like fighters such as two-time gold medalists Guillermo Rigondeaux and Vasyl Lomachenko.
"It's been a long journey, but we stuck with the plan and we're just about there now," Wilder said. "The plan has been to get as much experience as possible, ring-wise, and to face a lot of different types of fighters with different styles.
We wanted to fight slow guys and fast guys, big guys, a small guy, a crafty guy, a guy who would pressure you, a runner, a slick guy, a guy who would give me rounds.
"We wanted to see it all and experience it all so that when it was time, nothing was a surprise and I had been through it all before.
"He's been through most, but not all of it before. After his knockout of Scott, there was much criticism. Many, including some fighters, suggested Scott took a dive and didn't attempt to get up after being knocked down.
Much of that was because of the way the right hand landed. Wilder split Scott's gloves with the right that came after a left hook. But Wilder yanked his right arm back after connecting. That was to bring it back into position for defense, he said.
But many couldn't believe that Scott could be hurt so badly by a punch like that. Wilder said it wasn't the right that did the damage but the left hook that came before it, which he said landed on Scott's temple.
Wilder wasn't happy with all the criticism and the questions about the finish.
"I have super power in both of these hands and you have to keep in mind that sometimes, looks are deceiving," he said. "Just because it didn't look a certain way doesn't mean it didn't happen. All these people talking don't know what they're talking about.
"I would tell them, 'Sign a waiver and I would be glad to hit you with that same shot and let you feel it.' When you're dealing with 10-ounce gloves and the force and the mass I bring to it, it's a different ballgame. People take those kinds of shots for granted, but believe me, there was nothing fun about that and nothing safe about that. People need a reality check."
But that's been one of the few down times in a career that has been as extraordinary as it has been unlikely.
Wilder is on the verge of greatness, and he admits that sometimes he's shocked at what he has been able to accomplish in such a short period of time.
His daughter, Naieya, has accomplished great things, too, and is now doing gymnastics in grade school.
He has a tattoo on his arm that depicts him holding hands with Naieya and walking with her. It's very symbolic and carries special meaning for him.
"Alabama is a football state, without question, and I just grew up believing that playing football was what I was destined to do," he said. "But God had a different plan for me and, as it has turned out, it's been the greatest thing for me. I found boxing as a way to take care of her and I've been fighting for her, and she's been fighting for me ever since.
"We feed off each other and we push and strive to make each other's lives better. It's a proud father moment to see my little girl doing what she's doing, and it's why I'm doing what I'm doing."
They're just two fighters, working hard and sticking to "The Plan."
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