When Black Prizefighters Consider Family as Much a Symbol of Masculinity as a Knockout
By Defining Themselves as Family Men Outside the Ring, They Link Patriarchal Pride With Athletic Prowess
Standing 6 feet 7 inches, with an athlete’s body, Deontay Wilder dreamed of going pro in either football or basketball. But at 19, with a newborn girl who had spina bifida and medical bills piling up, he knew he had to step up. His jobs busing tables at Red Lobster and IHOP and his shift driving a beer truck just weren’t going to cut it.
As a young man in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, without a college degree, he didn’t have much of a choice. So he did what countless black men …