Deontay Wilder claims he is ‘reborn’ after taking psychedelic South American drug

Deontay Wilder has said he is ‘reborn’ after going through a psychedelic drug programme in Costa Rica, as he prepares to box Joseph Parker this weekend.

The American heavyweight will fight Parker in Saudi Arabia on Saturday (23 December), on the same card as Anthony Joshua vs Otto Wallin. Wilder’s bout marks his first contest since knocking out Robert Helenius in round one in October 2022.

Wilder’s unique preparation for Saturday’s fight has included a retreat to the Rythmia facility in Costa Rica, where he took a South American psychoactive brew called ayahuasca.

Ayahuasca contains Dimenthyltryptamine (DMT), which is a Class A drug in the UK and is therefore illegal – as is ayahuasca itself. Some experts warn against using ayahuasca, while NFL player Aaron Rodgers and actors Will Smith and Megan Fox are reportedly among its advocates. Prince Harry also admitted to using it in therapy but advised against taking the brew recreationally.

“Ah, man, ayahuasca has been... Man, it’s been one of the top things in my life that I’m glad that I’ve experienced,” Wilder, 38, told The Telegraph.

“One of the best journeys to experience, it’s been a beautiful thing for me, and if you ask my wife, she’ll say that it made me more sensitive. And she’s probably right, but it also made me happier as well. I find myself appreciating even the smallest of the smallest things – and not saying that I didn’t before – but the appreciation level has increased.

“Ayahuasca has done some beautiful things for a lot of individuals, not only just including myself, where they brought affirmation to their life or some type of understanding of the path that they are running in their life. I’m looking forward to doing it many, many more times. I’m actually looking to do it after this fight as well.

Wilder (left) facing off with opponent Joseph Parker (PA)
Wilder (left) facing off with opponent Joseph Parker (PA)

“They made the medicine on site, the DMT, and it was just a beautiful experience. I highly recommend everyone to try it out, I really do, it really has helped me in my life. I am one of the happiest people I know in life, and God is good.”

Wilder went on a long unbeaten run and became WBC heavyweight champion before losing the title to Tyson Fury in 2020. The pair initially fought to a controversial draw in 2018, before Fury stopped Wilder in their rematch to take the belt. Then, in a trilogy bout in 2021, the Briton knocked out Wilder again to retain the title.

Wilder’s only fight since has been his knockout of Helenius, whom Joshua knocked out in round seven this August.

Joshua vs Wallin is listed as the main event in Riyadh on Saturday, as “AJ” seeks his third win of the year after beating Helenius and Jermaine Franklin. The Briton outpointed Franklin in April before stopping Helenius.

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