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It was a good Saturday for Deontay Wilder, a bad one for the Crimson Tide

FILE -Deontay Wilder, right, fights Tyson Fury in a heavyweight championship boxing match Oct. 9, 2021, in Las Vegas. Wilder still has big plans and a bigger right hand, just like when he was heavyweight champion. He wants to be there again. His climb starts Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022, when he returns from consecutive losses to Tyson Fury to fight Robert Helenius at Brooklyn's Barclays Center. (AP Photo/Chase Stevens, File)
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FR171365 AP
FILE -Deontay Wilder, right, fights Tyson Fury in a heavyweight championship boxing match Oct. 9, 2021, in Las Vegas. Wilder still has big plans and a bigger right hand, just like when he was heavyweight champion. He wants to be there again. His climb starts Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022, when he returns from consecutive losses to Tyson Fury to fight Robert Helenius at Brooklyn's Barclays Center. (AP Photo/Chase Stevens, File)

Tuscaloosa native Deontay Wilder returned to the boxing ring and scored one of his signature knockouts in quick order. It was another story for the Alabama Crimson Tide, which fell to Tennessee due to a last second kick during regulation. The “Bronze Bomber” knocked out Robert Helenius in the first round. This puts Wilder back in win column after consecutive losses to Tyson Fury which ended his five year reign as the WBC World Heavyweight Champion. The boxer still retains his ninety three percent knockout rate, which is considered the highest in the history of the sport.

During Alabama’s game against the Tennessee Vols in Knoxville, Chase McGrath made a forty yard field goal as time expired to give number six ranked Tennessee a 52-49 victory over the Crimson Tide. As soon as the kick knuckle-balled through the uprights, some of the more than one hundred thousand fans stormed the field to celebrate the Volunteers ending a fifteen game losing streak to the Crimson Tide. It didn't take long for the goal posts to go down.

During Deontay Wilder’s successful return to boxing against Robert Helenius, the Bronze Bomber moved cautiously for most of the round before unleashing his right hand that has long been considered the best in the business. Alabama Public Radio also conducted Wilder’s first interview on this connection to the Old Prewitt Slave Cemetery. His comments are included in part of APR’s series “No Stone Unturned: Preserving Slave Cemeteries in Alabama. Click below for the first two installments of this investigation.

Pat Duggins is news director for Alabama Public Radio.
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  • Part 1— "The 40 unmarked graves"Alabama voters head to the polls next month. One ballot item could end slavery in the state. Alabama’s constitution still allows forced labor, one hundred and fifty seven years after the thirteenth amendment abolished the practice. That’s not the only lasting impact of the slave trade in Alabama. APR spoke with the descendants of some of estimated four hundred thousand people enslaved here around the Civil War. Many say they can’t find the burial sites of their ancestors, due to unmarked graves or bad records kept by their white captors. Alabama Public Radio news spent nine months looking into efforts to find and preserve slave cemeteries in the state. Here's part one of our series we call “No Stone Unturned.”
  • Before the Civil War, the state of Alabama was home to an estimated thirty three thousand slave holders. Local historians say one of them was John Welch Prewitt. He set aside two acres that became known as the Old Prewitt Slave Cemetery. The site may hold up to two hundred unmarked graves. Former World Heavyweight Boxing Champion Deontay Wilder lives next door.
  • The University of Alabama college football team went from “zero” to “hero” during a tumultuous college football season, where the Alabama lost to its cross-state rival Auburn in the annual “Iron Bowl” game. That pushed the Tide out of the top four ranked teams where it had spent the year. Instead of being assured of a playoff slot, Alabama could only wait for a decision from the playoff committee on whether the team could contend for the 2018 title game in Atlanta.
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