Deontay Wilder gives his own statue strange pep talk and comforting hug

Former world heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder is thinking outside the box for inspiration these days.

The eccentric entertainer is targeting a resurgence in 2023 having returned to action in thunderous fashion following a knockout win over Robert Helenius in October. 'The Bronze Bomber' took a year out after losing his iconic trilogy against Tyson Fury but appears to be back on the trail for championships this year.

And Wilder, 37, gave talking to one's self a new definition after appearing on camera delivering a sermon to his own statue, whom he warned there's "more to do." The message was a mix of tongue in cheek and cringe-worthy confidence-boosting, telling his own effigy he's 'proud of everything he's done.'

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"Hey, how you doing? Merry Christmas," Wilder told 'himself' in a recent social media post. "Happy New Year to you. How you are feeling? You been doing alright? You been holding up?

"You look cold. I'm going to have to get you a blanket to warm you up. Right now, you're looking good. I'm proud of you and everything you have done. There's more to do though, I'll see you soon."

Do you think 'The Bronze Bomber' would beat Anthony Joshua? Let us know in the comments section.

The caption told Wilder's 2.7million Instagram followers it’s "okay to love the goodness out of yourself" as he prepares for an expected WBC title eliminator against Andy Ruiz. "Most times self-motivation is a must, then at times it’s all we need to stay alive!!"

Wilder wrote there was "no damn place like HOME" after unveiling his statue in his native town of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, in 2022. The veteran said at the time that he was 'lost for the words for the first time in his life,' suggesting just how much the gesture meant to the 43-2-1 fighter.

Victory over Ruiz could put Wilder on course for a surprise fourth face-off against Fury, though it's possible Oleksandr Usyk could hold the WBC belt by then. Alternatively, Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn has teased a potential showdown against Anthony Joshua, who is himself on the rebound following back-to-back losses against Usyk.

"I truly believe Deontay Wilder & Tyson Fury are nailed on for 2023," Hearn told DAZN. "They have to be because AJ isn't interested in having three or four nothing fights. He'll listen to his training team and take their advice.

"There's an open line of communication with [Deontay Wilder's co-manager] Shelly Finkel. He's [Wilder] going to fight Andy Ruiz. That fight has been ordered, and AJ is going to come back in the first week of April. I'm not ruling out [that] fight No. 2 of the year could be Deontay Wilder, but we've got a plan."

Joshua, 33, continues to be linked with his own bout against 'The Gypsy King', though Fury himself has given short shrift to rumours that a meeting will ever materialise. 'AJ' will be wary of his next foe as he seeks to restore some of his reputation, and time will be of the essence in the 2023 calendar full of potential.

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