Deontay Wilder: Remembering when the WBC heavyweight champion beat up internet troll Charlie Zelenoff in 2014

Deontay Wilder is the WBC heavyweight champion and currently one of boxing’s biggest names.

However, it has not always been this way for the ‘Bronze Bomber’ who, five years ago, was far less known and far more reckless as a result.

Wilder 3 - Deontay Wilder: Remembering when the WBC heavyweight champion beat up internet troll Charlie Zelenoff in 2014
Deontay Wilder won the WBC title in January 2015

Famously, in May 2014, Wilder travelled to Los Angeles for a gym fight with internet troll Charlie Zelenoff, who directed vile abuse at him and challenged him to a fight.

Fresh off a win over Malik Scott to go 31-0, the American accepted and headed over to deal with the situation.

Wilder arrived at the gym and had Zelenoff sign a legal waiver assuring that he wouldn’t sue for any damages, before then battering him around the gym.

The fact he was wearing two right-handed gloves mattered not, as the troll discovered the difference between himself and a future heavyweight champion.

Explaining the incident later on, Wilder told ESNews: “You can be a critic and say certain things, but there’s a limit.

“He took it to a whole ‘nother level. One thing I don’t condone is racism and he brought racism to the table.

“He [talked about] duct-taping my daughter’s mouth and when he said that I visualised him actually doing it and it upset me.

“And then he said he’s gonna kill me, murder me. Those three things, man, I was overboard. When it’s like that, I wanna see you.”

When uploaded, the clip inevitably went viral, with many seeing it as a lesson that should be learned by online abusers everywhere.

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