Deontay Wilder insists racism is preventing him from achieving the acclamation his achievements deserve.

The world heavyweight champion has won each of his 40 professional fights – and all but one by KO.

But despite his success, he struggles for recognition even in his home state of Alabama.

One reason, he believes, is competition from the more popular sports of American football and basketball. The other is the colour of his skin.

Wilder said: “People don’t understand when they’ve never had to go through controversy or experience people having animosity because of the colour of your skin.

“They’ve never had to go through stores and feel they’re being looked upon, even if they’ve got money.

“You’re looked upon because of your skin colour and when people don’t understand that and can’t see it, it’s a subject that’s hard to understand.

“The thing about being black is there are people who are intimidated by it and who fear it because of what they think or may have heard, or what has happened in history.

Deontay Wilder
Deontay Wilder
“In my opinion, black people just want to be like other people, to have a good life and provide a great life for their families but even when we tried to advance and do our own thing, racism didn’t allow it to happen.”

Wilder is referencing Black Wall Street, a thriving area of Tulsa, Oklahoma which featured a string of black businesses until it was razed to the ground in the race riots of 1921.

Hundreds of residents were murdered, and Wilder, who defends his title against Tyson Fury next Saturday, added: “Black people all over were able to have their own hospitals, their own banks, their own everything but a white person came along and burned all that s*** down to the f****** ground.

“What more can you want? You say do your own thing but when someone does that the motherf***** still comes along and f**** with you.

“What have we done so wrong? We’ve had 400 years of this s*** and it’s still going so you can never understand that.

“When someone outspoken like me speaks about it, it counts against me because no-one wants to hear it because it isn’t done to your man and it isn’t done to your culture.

“The person it is done to has got all day to talk about it because he’s the one who’s involved and the one it is being done to.”

Source: Martin Domin