Deontay Wilder has made a return to the gym ahead of a potential heavyweight comeback later this year.
The 'Bronze Bomber' has been out of action since losing in an epic trilogy fight with WBC champion Tyson Fury last October in Las Vegas. He has since announced his plans to make a comeback to the heavyweight division, before quickly altering his stance and remaining coy on a ring return.
Wilder has not been at the gym since breaking his hand and requiring surgery following his defeat last year. However the 'Bronze Bomber' has now been spotted with former world champion Badou Jack who posted a picture of the pair on social media, with the caption: "Good to see @BronzeBomber back in the gym today!"
The American heavyweight was also present at the UFC last night for the latest episode of Dana White's Contender Series. White confirmed later in a press conference that Wilder was training at the UFC Apex facility in Las Vegas for his upcoming fight. "I didn't see him I knew he was coming," he said.
"I think Deontay Wilder is training here for his fight. I think he is training at the Apex for his next fight, Deontay Wilder is a tough dude man and it is fun to watch him fight. I like him and I respect him." Wilder remains ranked as the leading WBC contender and will likely look to return to world title level when he makes a comeback.
Former rival Fury's promoter Frank Warren claimed that Wilder has already secured his return date when he will seemingly take on fellow contender Robert Helenius later this year. However it is understood there are a number of options on the table for Wilder, who could also face Andy Ruiz Jr or Joseph Parker.
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A win for Wilder on his return could set up a future title challenge or a shot at British heavyweight Anthony Joshua with whom he has held a long-term rivalry. This will largely depend on Fury's decision as to whether to vacate the title or not, but Wilder's manager Shelly Finkel has once again named 'AJ' as an ideal candidate for a future mega-fight.
"Maybe the winner of Usyk and Joshua," Finkel responded when asked about potential opponents for Wilder in an interview with Planet Sport. "I don't know what Fury is doing? "Maybe if Joshua wins it's a huge fight in the UK (between those two) - there's so many intangibles so we're looking to see what happens in that fight (Usyk and Joshua).
"I don't care what Fury says, we're waiting to see what he really wants to do because if he wants to fight the winner then he's going to get it. But after that, where are the top guys? There's only four real top guys in the heavyweights right now - Usyk, Joshua, Fury and Deontay [Wilder]."