Deontay Wilder thankful to Pope Francis for 'Boxing Ambassador for Peace' honour

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Deontay Wilder has shown his appreciation to the Pope for naming him Boxing Ambassador of Peace, stating he is ‘a peaceful man in the day but a beast in the ring at night.’

The WBC champion met Pope Francis while touring Rome in December and became just one of three boxers to have shared an audience with the pontiff, joining Muhammed Ali and Riddick Bowe.

Wilder, a native of Alabama, met the bishop of Rome inside Vatican City and was named the Boxers’ Representative and Ambassador for Peace throughout sport in a private ceremony.

The 34-year-old, clearly beaming with pride, took to Twitter to enlighten his followers: "A peaceful man in the day, but Beast in the ring by night.

“I look at it like this; whether it’s Love, Peace, or a place in life you’re trying to get to you must fight for it.

“It’s not going to be easy and it’s going to hurt some along the way.

“Thanks to @Pontifex, @WBCBoxing, and all that were involved. Wishing many blessings.”

Wilder’s tour of the greater Rome area in December was planned and sponsored by the Italian Boxing Federation and WBC as part of an effort to increase international cultural diplomacy through boxing.

The award he received was recommended to Pope Francis by Scholas Occurentes, the non-religious social awareness organisation he founded as an archbishop in Argentina.

Wilder was complimentary about the Pope after meeting him, calling him ‘a truly remarkable man.’

“What an honor it was to meet the #Pope @Pontifex today. He’s truly a remarkable man that represents True Love, Happiness and World Peace for all human race.

“He also enjoys pizza and is a huge boxing fan and you know he’s a part of the #BombZquad Family Baby.”

‘The Bronze Bomber’ is currently in preparations for his much-anticipated rematch with Tyson Fury on February 22 in Las Vegas.

Deontay Wilder v Luis Ortiz

Fury recovered from two knockdowns in their initial encounter in December 2018 with the bout ending controversially in a draw.

Neither fighter has suffered a defeat as a pro and the WBC strap is on the line next month so the stakes couldn’t be higher for both of these titanic warriors.

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