Former World Boxing Champion, Deontay Wilder, has disclosed that he has traced his roots to Edo State, Nigeria.
In a viral video seen by MoneyCentral on Saturday, Wilder said he would like to go back home to learn about his culture.
The United States professional boxer said, “I want to go back and learn more about my culture and information with things about me. Once I’m done with what I’m doing, I’m going back to see my tribe, Edo.
“I want to see my culture and my ancestors and learn a lot of things. We all have lots of things that we are connected to that we know nothing about. I’ll love to go there and do research about my roots and my tribe.”
Wilder, who adopted the moniker “Bronze Bomber”, enjoyed a five-year reign as the WBC heavyweight champion between 2015 and 2020, losing his strap in a bout with Tyson Fury in February 2020.
It is not immediately clear if Wilder’s realisation of his roots informed his moniker, “Bronze Bomber.”
The Binis in Edo State are known for their expertise in bronze works. Unfortunately, many ancient Benin bronze carvings were carted away to the West during colonial raids.
After suffering his first professional defeat at the hand of Fury in a seven-round bout last February, the former WBC champion will in July seek to reclaim his title as he takes on Fury for the third time.
The fight is billed to be held at the T-Mobile Arena in Nevada on July 24, and the winner would challenge Anthony Joshua.
Nigeria has been a force in world boxing since the 1940s, producing top boxers like Dick Tiger and Hogan Bassey; both undisputed world champions, Tiger at middle and light heavyweight, and Bassey at featherweight.
Nigeria has had a fair share of boxing champions, producing the likes of Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder.