Deontay Wilder arrived home in Alabama Sunday as the newly crowned heavyweight champion of the world, and the first American to lay claim to one of the sporting world’s most prestigious titles in eight years.
Wilder secured the WBC heavyweight title on Saturday night in front of a packed house at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, after delivering a bruising, one-sided whipping to Canada’s Bermane Stiverne to win the belt.
Following the bout, the Bronze Bomber tweeted a portrait of himself in a tuxedo to show off the lack of damage he incurred during the 12-round unanimous victory.
Upon arrival at Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport on Sunday, the champ appeared to have already set his sights on the future.
“This is just the beginning,” Wilder told local media outlets. “It’s a great feeling to be the WBC champ of the world, but there’s more to gain from this.”
Wilder is the first U.S. fighter to win one of boxing's heavyweight titles since Shannon Briggs lost the WBO belt to Sultan Ibragimov in 2007. Since then, a majority of the world’s heavyweight belts have remained under the domain of Ukraine’s Klitschko brothers.