“I’m proud of you” – Deontay Wilder hilariously gives his statue hugs and words of encouragement to start a massive year that could also see Anthony Joshua fight

Deontay Wilder paid a visit to his statue before promising it will be a big year for his boxing career.

The former WBC heavyweight champion, who defended his title ten times before failing twice against Tyson Fury, was honored with a statue in his hometown of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, back in May.

Deontay Wilder – Instagram

Wilder has a statue of himself in his hometown

To celebrate the New Year, Wilder visited his statue before uploading a hilarious video to social media showing him hugging and cheering her up.

“Hey, how are you? Merry Christmas. Happy New Year to you. How do you feel? You are fine? Were you holding back?” Wilder jokingly asked the statue after hugging it.

“You look cold. I need to get you a blanket to warm you up. You look good at the moment. I’m proud of you and everything you’ve done.

“But there is still more to do, see you soon.”

Wilder considered retiring after his trilogy loss to The Gypsy King, but after unveiling his statue, he announced he will continue fighting and booked a comeback fight against Robert Helenius.

‘The Bronze Bomber’ viciously knocked out Helenius in one round as they clashed at the Barclays Center in New York on October 15 in what appeared to be a WBC Finals eliminator against Andy Ruiz.

@bronzebomber – instagram

The Bronze Bomber kicked off its 2023 with a visit to his statue

He gave him a pep talk

@bronzebomber – instagram

He gave him a pep talk

Since then, however, Wilder has become more interested in a possible falling out with Anthony Joshua, with whom he has been in a fight since 2016.

Negotiations to make the fight a reality fell through multiple times between 2017 and 2019, but could happen in 2023, according to Eddie Hearn.

Last month, Joshua’s promoter gave a promising update on his relationship with Wilder’s manager, Shelly Finkel.

The pair had a very public falling out following their previous failed attempts at the fight, but are now putting that behind them and collaborating on a huge pay-per-view event.

A possible fight with Anthony Joshua could happen in 2023

Mark Robinson/Matchroom

A possible fight with Anthony Joshua could happen in 2023

Wilder's manager Finkel has had productive discussions with Hearn, which is extremely encouraging

AFP-Getty

Wilder’s manager Finkel has had productive discussions with Hearn, which is extremely encouraging

Hearn told ID Boxing: “I’ve had some very nice chats with Shelly recently.

“I think we all made mistakes last time and I won’t make that mistake again.

“So I’m not saying anything but lines of communication are clear and open which is great news for everyone.

“I don’t know what’s next, but what I can tell you is that the relationship and the communication are good enough to have hope.”

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