During his boxing career, former world heavyweight champion American Deontay Wilder (43-2-1, 42 KOs) sparred with many seasoned colleagues, including long-term division dominator from Ukraine Wladimir Klitschko and ex-champion in two categories of Briton David Haye.
However, when he was asked who made the strongest impression in sparring, the answer was unexpected. Wilder named compatriot Alonzo Butler.
“Big Zo was the fastest heavyweight I’ve ever seen, especially with his size – he was a good 115 kg, but he could move,” Deontay said. – If he had the best management and team, he could well become a world champion. I was very impressed when I saw it. I looked at him and thought: “Damn, I wish I did the same.” Alonzo was awesome and he was the first guy I actually felt a body shot. During that time, I learned a lot from him.”
Butler was considered a fairly promising heavyweight, but at around 27-0-1 during one of the sparring sessions he received a serious injury – retinal detachment. The return after 13 months turned out to be bad – in mid-2008, Alonzo lost on points to Friday Ahunanya and was no longer able to reach a decent level, although he completed irregular performances only in 2021.
Wilder also revealed who he wants to fight next.