Deontay Wilder nearly drowns in scuba gear incident
Former heavyweight boxing champion Deontay Wilder is "recovering well" after a failed scuba diving attempt earlier this week almost resulted in him drowning.
The Alabama native, absent from boxing since losing his WBC heavyweight title to Tyson Fury by a seventh round TKO back in February and later citing a heavy ring-walk costume as a reason for his first defeat, has been using his spare time to relax and partake in some recreational activities such as shooting, riding his motorcycle and, more recently, scuba diving.
However, it seems that for the second time this year the 'Bronze Bomber' was taken to deep waters and couldn't handle the weight. This time though, the 6'9" heavyweight reportedly struggled with his hefty scuba gear.
According to a member of his team, Wilder, apparently a certified diver, recently purchased some new heavy duty scuba equipment to strengthen his legs for future fights and wanted to try it out. When asked to dive with a buddy just in case anything went wrong, Wilder responded "does a lion need a buddy when he hunts his prey? Does a phoenix rise from the ashes with a buddy", before hopping off the side of the boat backwards and into the sea.
Almost an hour had passed and the 34-year-old showed no signs of resurfacing, until the boat crew received a distress signal from Wilder's GPS tracker directly underneath the boat on the sea floor.
Nearby rescuers rushed to the bottom to find a seemingly unconscious and stationary Wilder laid on his back like a starfish, before dragging him to the surface and back onto the boat.
The rescue team quickly removed his gear and his mask to administer CPR and Wilder woke up soon enough, but upon regaining consciousness appeared to be exhausted, frustrated and on the verge of tears.
"He just stood up, screamed and burst into tears", said one of the crew members. "He said he sank straight to the bottom as soon as he flipped off the boat and had been laying there in the exact same spot the whole time.
"When we asked him why he didn't send the signal sooner he told us he was testing himself, trying to stand or swim but his legs just couldn't lift him up, because, and I quote, 'if he can't carry some scuba gear then how's he supposed to beat Tyson Fury in the rematch'? Then after a while his tank almost ran out of air and that's when he sent it. He nearly drowned trying to prove a point."
At the time of writing, Wilder is recovering well in hospital, eager to get back out and try it again as he looks to distance himself from what some are calling the worst excuse in boxing history.
(While you're here, we'd appreciate if you'd give us a like on Facebook, or follow us on Instagram or Twitter. Just click one of the links below! Or you can sign up to our newsletter!)