Nestled among the trees in suburban Tuscaloosa, Alabama, in a building that looks like a long storage container, is a gym that serves as the home of the heavyweight champion of the world. Above a garage-style door hangs a sign that reads, “Parking space reserved for Mr. Wilder.”
It’s an unexpected setting befitting the outsized, stranger-than-life tale of WBC champ Deontay Wilder, who on Saturday in Las Vegas will attempt to make amends for the only blemish on his 42-0-1 record when he faces Tyson Fury, whom he fought to a draw in 2018.
He is a superhero everyman. He is not your typical star athlete — no pampered, cloistered celebrity with a team of sycophants and handlers. As these nine stories attest, Deontay Wilder is just your average 6-foot-7 heavyweight champion who has 11 cars and stocks random gas station beer coolers and twerks and sometimes accidentally sets himself on fire.