When I got my first tattoo in May, I felt a sense of machismo because I was getting it on my rib cage, which I had been told was the most painful area on the body to get tattooed. The fact that I was getting my first tattoo with WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder made me feel tougher than Tony Montana.
I first met Deontay Wilder before he was the heavyweight champ. He was preparing for his title fight with Bermane Stiverne, and I was in his camp working on a feature for Boxing News Magazine. Wilder impressed me with his skill, charisma, and kindness. I knew that I would want to work with him again in the future.
A few months went by and I wanted to write a unique story on Wilder. I got this idea to write a story about what Wilder’s tattoos reveal about him as a person. Tattoos can be powerful symbols and I wanted to explore the relationship between Wilder and his body art.
I thought it would also be cool if we got tattoos together: the champ of boxing and ink walking an un-tattooed journalist through his first piece of body art. I proposed the idea to Wilder’s trainer and manager, Jay Deas, and to my surprise he loved the idea.
Wilder’s personal tattoo artist, Porsha Bryant, designed my tattoo and gave me my first ink at her tattoo shop All Inked Up. I got the epigraph of Hunter S. Thompson’s book, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, tattooed on my ribs along with Ralph Steadman’s iconic bats.
Wilder hung out with me throughout the entire process and we talked for several hours about the state of boxing, pop-culture, and our families. He’s an incredibly down to earth person. I love my tattoo and I have a great story to tell because of it. It’s a moment I will always remember. You can read about it in the fall issue of Urban Ink Magazine.