Former WBC world heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder has traced his lineage to the Edo tribe of Nigeria.
During a recent interview, Wilder told Barbershop Conversations that he is planning a trip to Nigeria after learning that his roots can be found there. Nigeria has a rich boxing tradition, dating as far back as the legendary Dick Tiger, who is now an International Boxing Hall of Fame inductee.
“I want to go back and learn more about my culture and information with things about me,” said Wilder. “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.”
The news comes on the heels of Wilder announcing a third bout against current WBC World Heavyweight Champion Tyson Fury, set for July 24 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, live on pay-per-view.
The bout is considered one of the biggest in 2021, alongside the anticipated Manny Pacquiao-Errol Spence Jr. showdown on August 21. During his tenure as champion, the 35-year-old Wilder revived the American heavyweight boxing scene, holding the world title for an impressive five years and tying Muhammad Ali by making 10 title defenses.
In December 2018, Wilder took on the undefeated Fury, a former heavyweight champion. The two battled to an epic draw where Wilder dropped Fury twice. Fury dominated their February 2020 rematch, stopping Wilder in seven to become world champion. On July 24, Wilder will attempt to become a two-time champ like current WBA, IBF and WBO World Heavyweight Champion Anthony Joshua, who is also of Nigerian-descent.