The WBC Heavyweight Championship contender was greeted to a room full of faithful friends, family and fans this week as Tuscaloosa said, "Good Luck Champ!"

Hundreds were in attendance Thursday night at the River Market for a send off party for Tuscaloosa's own Deontay Wilder. On Monday the championship fighter leaves for Las Vegas and a week's worth of intense training before his title fight against Berman Silverne on Saturday.

As Wilder spoke to the media and took pictures in one end of the building, the general public filled in two by two in the other end, just to be a part of this historic event for the City of Tuscaloosa and one 6' 7" young man. As the seats were quickly filled an autograph line started along one side of the building and continued on to the other.

The night was hosted by Max Carr and began with Senator Gerald Allan sharing stories followed by Wilder's trainer Jay Deas. A surprising last minute addition to the night was Rev. Thomas Wilder, who in a passionate speech said to his son,

He wouldn't fight because I wouldn't allow him to fight. If I have anything to say to Deontay tonight, I want to tell him the restraints is off. The chains have been loosened around your neck. You're not under my control anymore. All I can tell Deontay tonight when he goes to Vegas — get him, Deontay!

Next came the smoke, music and light display as the champ walked onto the stage to be greeted by a crowd who immediately went wild! He stood and talked for the next 20 minutes and showed his heart as he teared up thinking about how much this night meant to him.

Mayor Walt Maddox wrapped up the evening by proclaiming January 17th as "Deontay Wilder Day" in Tuscaloosa.

Showtime will air the championship fight Saturday, January 17th at 9pm. There will also be a viewing party at Willhagan's in Temerson Square.