Heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder is recovering in the wake of separate surgeries Thursday to repair a broken right hand and torn biceps in the same arm.
Wilder sustained the injuries July 16 during his eighth-round stoppage of Chris Arreola in Birmingham, Alabama. The dual surgeries, which took place in Birmingham, followed a brief procedure on July 21 to help stabilize the hand.
Wilder posted a short video from his hospital bed in between Thursday’s two operations, which his manager and co-trainer, Jay Deas, deemed successful.
“Everything went well,” said Deas, who co-trains Wilder along with former world champion Mark Breland and Russ Anber. “They fixed both the right hand and the right biceps, and he should be in recovery for approximately four to six months. He’ll start therapy on his hand as early as this week.”
Deontay Wilder (37-0, 36 KOs) has broken his right hand at least three times in the past seven years. He had metal pins inserted after an injury he suffered in his seventh professional fight, a 90-second stoppage of Travis Allen in August 2009. Wilder then re-fractured the hand against Bermane Stiverne in January 2015, when he won the world title with a unanimous decision.
However, the 30-year-old from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, didn’t require surgery following the second break.
Given the length of his expected rehabilitation, Wilder is looking at a second consecutive ring absence of at least six months. His fight against Arreola came six months to the day after he defeated Artur Szpilka by ninth-round knockout, and represented the champ’s longest layoff of his professional career.
“I just want to tell my fans thank you for the prayers, and to keep the prayers coming through this [recovery] process,” said Wilder, who has stopped all four challengers since winning the title. “I’ll be out for six months or less, but I’m going to recover fast and come back stronger than ever.”